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.

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A Blue View
7:12 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

10 Ways to Garden for Wildlife - 5/26/15

Credit aqua.org/blog

With the right gardening strategies, you can create your own certified wildlife habitat around your home or somewhere in your community.

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A Blue View
7:04 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Oyster Gardens - 5/19/15

Credit aqua.org/blog

Hidden just beneath the surface of the Inner Harbor in five distinct locations is a new type of garden: an oyster garden.

These installations are the product of the Great Baltimore Oyster Partnership, a collaboration between the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, local businesses and area schools.

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A Blue View
6:10 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Light Pollution - 5/12/15

Credit aqua.org/blog

Today, little of our planet’s land is dark at night. The starry hubs of cities and ports and vein-like outgrowths of the well-lit suburbs cover the surface of the Earth. The planet may be "a pale blue dot," as Carl Sagan has said; but at night, we're bright. Too bright. 

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A Blue View
5:21 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Galapagos Marine Iguanas - 5/5/15

Credit Wikipedia

You’ve probably heard of the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of 19 islands deep in the Pacific Ocean. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Galapagos are 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and a world apart from the rest of the planet.

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A Blue View
5:06 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Baltimore's Floating Islands - 4/28/15

Credit aqua.org/blog

When Captain John Smith first explored the Patapsco River in 1608, it was ringed by natural wetlands that provided habitat to native wildlife and filtered the water. It may be hard to imagine, but before Baltimore became a thriving seaport, the Inner Harbor was likely a vibrant wetland, its surface adorned with green vegetation.

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