John Racanelli

Host, A Blue View

As chief executive officer, John Racanelli leads a team of 600 full and part-time employees and 1,000 volunteers in pursuing the National Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.  More than 1.5 million people annually visit the Aquarium’s venue in Baltimore, Maryland, while millions more are touched by the Aquarium’s education programs, outreach activities, social media campaigns and conservation initiatives.

A passionate advocate for the ocean, John strives to drive conservation action worldwide, ensure the success of one of the nation’s leading aquarium enterprises, and fundamentally change the way the world views the ocean and aquatic systems.

John joined the National Aquarium in July 2011 after 10 years as president of Racanelli Partners, Inc. The San Francisco-based consulting firm served the needs of nonprofit leaders nationally and globally, focusing on cultural and conservation organizations including Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the Surfrider Foundation.

After co-founding Mission Blue with author and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, John assisted her in developing and launching Google Ocean, Google’s most significant enhancement of Google Earth, the most popular earth visualization tool in existence.

Prior to founding his firm, John spent 16 years in leadership positions at U.S. aquariums. He was the first CEO of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, where he built the facility, team and vision for Tampa Bay’s leading cultural attraction.  He also served for nine years on the leadership team of the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium as its vice president of marketing and development, joining the aquarium a year before its opening. While in college, John began his career as a diver and aquarist, an experience that he credits with giving him great appreciation for the work of everyone on the aquarium team.

Fluent in Spanish, John holds a degree in strategic management from Dominican University of California. He is a SCUBA diver, open-water swimmer, sailor and surfer. His weekly radio show and podcast on WYPR public radio, “A Blue View,” explores important issues related to the aquatic world. John and his family are proud residents of Canton, Baltimore’s historic waterfront district.

A Blue View
8:37 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Floating Forests - 4/15/14

Far south of the Chesapeake, fringing tropical and subtropical coastlines, there exist floating forests of mangroves, whose roots grow in a luxuriant tangle at the ocean's edge.  And there, they thrive. Botanists call the 50 species of mangroves halophylic, or "salt loving."

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A Blue View
7:29 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

The Colorful Poison Dart Frog - 4/8/14

Blue as sapphires, red as rubies and black as onyx—there are more than 100 species of beautifully colored poison dart frogs. There is even one called "the blue jeans frog," because its bottom half is the color of denim.

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A Blue View
5:30 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The Challenge with Polluted Runoff - 4/1/14

One of the most challenging environmental issues in communication across Maryland and in communities all over the world is polluted runoff. As solutions are considered and implemented, what is clear is that we have to do something.
 

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A Blue View
5:53 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Why Turtle Rescue Is Important - 3/25/14

Did you know that every species of sea turtle in US waters is endangered? Preserving these amazing and essential sea creatures is of the utmost importance.

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A Blue View
2:46 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

The Sounds of the Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers - 3/18/14

Through the winter, woodlands and meadows are mostly quiet at night. But with the arrival of spring rains and warming temperatures, that silence is broken by loud choruses of wood frogs and spring peepers. These are the first frog species to come out of hibernation and begin the year’s amphibian breeding season.

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A Blue View
5:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

On the Surface - 3/11/14

The phrase “impervious surface” is used by city planners, developers, real estate agents, lawyers, and citizens in Maryland and beyond.

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A Blue View
4:20 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Inside Giant Clams - 3/4/14

In the vastness of the ocean, there are many so-called animal to animal symbionts, seemingly odd-fellow relationships from which both species benefit. But what about symbiosis between an animal and a plant? Or more specifically, a plant-like alga called zooxanthellae?

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A Blue View

A Blue View is a weekly perspective on the life aquatic, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.  From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.