BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Aquarium has been a jewel of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 1981. One of the city’s most popular tourist attractions celebrated its 40th anniversary Tuesday with local leadership.

The aquarium draws more than 1.5 million visitors to the Inner Harbor each year, according to the governor’s office.

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National Aquarium President and CEO John Racanelli joined Governor Larry Hogan, Mayor Brandon Scott, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski for a commemoration event.

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“Since 1981, the National Aquarium has been not only an amazing tourist destination and educational resource, but also a major economic anchor for Baltimore City,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration has been proud to strongly support the aquarium‘s continued success over the years, and I want to congratulate everyone who has played a role in reaching this important milestone.”

The aquarium generates $455 million in economic activity each year and supports 4,500 jobs in Maryland, according to the governor’s office.

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CBS Baltimore Staff