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.

baltimorewaterfront.com

Walk along the Jones Falls near Pier 6 in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and you're bound to notice an unusual contraption floating in the water. Called the Water Wheel, it's a strange combination of old and new technology that has been collecting and disposing of the Inner Harbor's trash and debris since May 2014. 

aqua.org

Don’t be deceived by the desolate look of a mudflat. These areas of mud or sandy mud, which line thousands of miles of Chesapeake Bay shoreline, are hiding a rich variety of life.

semesteratsea.org

The largest turtle on Earth is the leatherback sea turtle, with a shell that’s up to 8 feet wide and a weight of more than 2,000 pounds. Sound big? Well, it is—until someone mentions Archelon, an ancient genus of monster turtles that once lived in a shallow sea covering what’s now South Dakota. Extinct for 80 million years, Archelon turtles made the leatherback look like, well, a shrimp.  

zmescience.com

Cascading tendrils of blue-green tentacles and a translucent, neon bell give the Portuguese man-of-war its otherworldly appearance.

aqua.org

The Greenland ice sheet is melting. Global temperatures are increasing. Sea level is rising. We've known this for awhile. So what's news? It's the pace of these changes.

Did you know? One out of every three bites of food you eat comes from pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t have foods like blueberries, apples, chocolate and almonds.

ocean.si.edu

In the vast midwaters of the open ocean, there’s an animal so adorable that the Smithsonian Institution’s website said, "If this video doesn't inspire a whole cadre of budding teuthologists, we don't know what will." Any amateur teuthologists out there want to hazard a guess as to what group of animals they’re referring? Here’s a hint: teuthology is the study of squids and octopuses.

aqua.org

Manatees made headlines this winter when a group of them, including a mother and calf, became marooned in a Florida storm drain and had to be rescued by marine biologists with backhoes and earth-moving equipment. Why such heavy machinery?

aqua.org

Each year, over 2,300 pieces of legislation are introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. This year, one bill has the potential to make an impact on reducing the amount of pollution that enters our waterways.

aqua.org

When you think of an animal that purrs, grunts, croaks or hums, I’ll bet it’s not a fish. But, I’ll let you in on a secret: More than 150 species of fish on the East Coast of the U.S. are what scientists call “somniferous.” They make noise. Lots of it.

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