2012 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, prohibiting the taking and importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the United States, and the Crime Museum in Washington D.C. is proud to honor this act with a temporary exhibit. The exhibit is available for guests to explore only throughout this summer, from May to August, so don’t miss out on your chance to learn how you can help prevent any wrongdoing to the remarkable mammals under the sea.
The Crime Museum is notorious for giving visitors an insider’s view into the world of crime and punishment. They are host to five interactive galleries, including “A Notorious History of Crime,” “Punishment: The Consequence of Crime” and “Crime Fighting.” Another gallery is the “Crime Scene Investigation” exhibit, in which you can immerse yourself into the middle of a crime scene and investigate for clues. The “America’s Most Wanted Studio” allows you to walk through the actual set of the popular television program “America’s Most Wanted” with host John Walsh.
This year, the Crime Museum is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to form the new exhibit, which will feature evidence of actual violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, shed light on what the violations are, what the law enforcement officials do to investigate these violations and how can you can help prevent them from occurring.
Two of the specific marine crimes the exhibit will highlight are shark finning and sea littering. Shark finning is described as “the removal of shark fins from an animal and then discarding its carcass at sea.” Many of the sharks who are put through this cruel act are still alive when this occurs, and are forced to sink slowly to the bottom of the ocean to their deaths. Approximately one hundred million sharks are killed annually in this process. There are less deliberate acts of violence towards the marine mammals as well. Hourly, a rate of about 2.5 million pieces of plastic are thrown carelessly into the ocean. What people don’t usually understand is how harmful this is for the marine life that call the waters home. When fishing nets are lost or left behind, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, manatees, whales and other sea creatures become tangled, causing them to starve, suffocate and bleed to death. Many of these animals are known to mistake plastic bags and other pieces of trash as food, killing 100,000 marine mammals and turtles every year.
When you visit this exhibit, you will learn what you can do to help. With the new knowledge on sea littering, you can do your part to stop the crimes against marine life. The Crime Museum and the National Aquarium also put forth some messages on how you can further help: 1) Call your local police department if you witness marine life cruelty, or any other illegal activities, when you are on the beach or the ocean, and 2) If you spot a stranded animal on the beach, keep your distance, but call the Stranding Hotline to report your findings to the Maryland Natural Resource Police.
When you’re visiting the Washington D.C. area during this summer, fill your stay with convenience and comfort. A room at the Four Points by Sheraton gives you luxurious accommodations, spacious rooms, great service and a short distance to the Crime Museum. Also located just a half-mile from the museum is the Hampton Inn Washington, DC – Convention Center, which gives you the chance to travel for business or leisure in a beautiful and accommodating hotel.
Also located nearby the Crime Museum, for when you want to explore the city even further, are the DC The Best! Tour, the Hard Rock Cafe, Johnson IMAX at the National Museum of Natural History and more. Washington D.C. offers a wide variety of history and culture, and a visit to the city will immerse you into all of it. When you visit the Crime Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the most interesting elements of history, and discover how you can make a better and safer future.