John Racanelli | WYPR

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.

Swells Sharks

Dec 12, 2017
The National Aquarium

Though not particularly well known, swell sharks are unassuming, harmless to humans and completely fascinating. Listen in as we discuss one of the most remarkable animals we’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.   

Oysters

Dec 6, 2017
The National Aquarium

A longtime staple of our region’s maritime industries, oysters are more than just a briny snack. They play a critical role in the health of the Chesapeake region’s aquatic ecosystems, including the Inner Harbor. Take a listen to learn more. 

The National Aquarium

It’s unusual for people to have an incredible sense of smell. In the perfume industry, these people are called "noses." But in reality, you don't smell with your nose, you smell with your brain. Our sense of smell increases until we’re about eight years old, then plateaus and declines as we age. Yet even the best "noses" pale in comparison to others in the Animal Kingdom.

The National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

Sawfish

Nov 14, 2017
The National Aquarium

Listen in to learn about the long tooth sawfish, a critically endangered but seriously fascinating member of the elasmobranch family. 

Dart Frogs

Nov 9, 2017
The National Aquarium

Dart frogs' rainforest homes are in great risk from the activities of humans. John has more. 

Tide Events

Nov 3, 2017
The National Aquarium

There is more to the coloration of the water in the Inner Harbor than you might think. Listen in to learn about how many factors, from algae to oxygen levels to nutrient levels, contribute to variations in our local waterways. 

Cold Stunned Turtles

Oct 23, 2017
The National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

The Night Heron

Oct 18, 2017
The National Aquarium

As a variety of public and private organizations strive to improve the water quality of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we are seeing a resurgence of native species not only below the water’s surface, but soaring high above as well, like the graceful night heron.

Manatees

Oct 12, 2017
aqua.org/blog

These gentle giants have rebounded in recent years, making their way off the endangered species list, but we must be vigilant to protect their resurgence. Let’s check in with manatees.   

Aquaculture

Oct 3, 2017
BRIAN GRATWICKE/FLICKR

We all want to do what's best for our ocean planet but we're drowning in choices. And consumers are asking 'what is best?' In this episode, John sheds some light on seafood and aquaculture.

The National Aquarium

The Amazon River Forest is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, home to thousands of species that appear almost nowhere else. Listen as National Aquarium experts discuss this remarkable place and what you can do to preserve it. 

Monarchs

Sep 19, 2017
The National Aquarium

Monarchs are perhaps the most notable species of butterfly, but their populations are also one of the most threatened. However, thanks to conservation efforts across North America—including right here in Baltimore—habitat is being restored for the majestic monarch.

Wetlands

Sep 13, 2017

The National Aquarium is getting serious about Inner Harbor water quality. Listen to learn more about how ingeniously designed floating wetlands are bringing natural habitat—and cleaner urban waters—back to Baltimore. 

Horseshoe Crabs

Sep 5, 2017
The National Aquarium

A complex and delicate connection exists between Atlantic horseshoe crabs and a threatened migratory bird called the Rufa Red Knot in nearby Delaware Bay. Hear how human-induced issues such as coastal development, sea level rise and climate change, have put the ties that bind them in jeopardy.

The National Aquarium

The International Coastal Cleanup—the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from waterways, beaches, lakes and rivers—will be held on September 16.

Blue Crabs

Aug 22, 2017
The National Aquarium

Their Latin name means beautiful swimmers and they are not only our state crustacean, but also an excellent indicator of the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Let’s take a closer look at blue crabs.


Responsible Beaching

Aug 15, 2017
The National Aquarium

Summer is here, and over 60 million Americans are beach bound. Take a listen to learn some simple, helpful suggestions for leaving the beach better than you found it. 

Red-Eared Slider

Aug 8, 2017
The National Aquarium

Red-eared slider turtles are native to the mid- and south-central United States, so what are they doing swimming in the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay?

Water Snakes

Aug 2, 2017
David Byron Keener/Shutterstock.com

As part of our continuing look at life in the Inner Harbor, learn more about northern water snakes and the important role they play in this ecosystem. 

All About Algae

Jul 26, 2017
Kichigin/Shutterstock

All over our blue planet, wherever you find water, you’ll find algae. From tiny microorganisms to forests of kelp that grow a foot a day, algae are useful and fascinating—but often undervalued and misunderstood.

This episode first aired in April 2017. 

Sondes

Jul 19, 2017
The National Aquarium

When we talk about improvements in local water quality, what does that mean? Moreover, how can we be sure? Take a listen to learn more about the technology at work in assessing the Inner Harbor. 

This episode originally aired in April. 

A Green Kitchen

Jul 11, 2017
The National Aquarium

When looking to make a positive conservation impact, start in the heart of your home. Your kitchen is full of opportunities for going greener. Here are some simple suggestions. 

Mallards

Jul 4, 2017
The National Aquarium

As part of our continuing look at life in and around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we’re learning about mallards. Listen in to find out how they support plant life and a diverse waterfront ecosystem. 

The National Aquarium

Summer is here, and over 60 million Americans are beach bound. Take a listen to learn some simple, helpful suggestions for leaving the beach better than you found it. 

The American Eel

Jun 20, 2017
Theresa Keil, National Aquarium

They’re seldom seen, but Baltimore’s Inner Harbor plays an important role in their lifecycle. Learn more about American Eels.

This episode aired in February 2017. 

Jellyfish

Jun 11, 2017
THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM

Mysterious, misunderstood jellyfish are swimming right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Let's take a look at what their presence indicates and how climate change is playing a role. 

This episode originally aired in March 2017. 

Mad About Menhaden

Jun 8, 2017
BRIAN GRATWICKE/FLICKR

Why are Atlantic Menhaden in demand? Listen to find out!

The Night Heron

May 30, 2017
The National Aquarium

As a variety of public and private organizations strive to improve the water quality of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, we are seeing a resurgence of native species not only below the water’s surface, but soaring high above as well, like the graceful night heron. 

Manatees

May 23, 2017

These gentle giants have rebounded in recent years, making their way off the endangered species list, but we must be vigilant to protect their resurgence. Let’s check in with manatees. 

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