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Aquatic Resources Education

photo of aquatic resources education center

The Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) is a multi-use education and aquaculture center located in Anacostia Park in southeast Washington, DC. In collaboration with the National Park Service and the Fish & Wildlife Service, the Department of Energy & Environment opened the AREC in 2005. It is one of three facilities of its kind in the Northeast Region of the United States. DOEE Fish and Wildlife Biologists provide free environmental education programs and facility tours to students and the general public on aquatic environments and water resources. The AREC presents a unique opportunity for visitors to experience close encounters with more than 40 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and aquatic plants that can be found in the rivers, streams, and wetlands of the District as well as in the Chesapeake Bay.AREC Kids

Schedule a Field Trip!

Pre-K-12 schools, learning centers, and community groups can register for hands-on field or classroom environmental education lessons that focus on the aquatic resources and wildlife found in the District.

Program options include:

Come and Visit!

Walk in visitors are welcome at the AREC Monday through Friday between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Visitors can request a tour (staff availability dependent) or explore the aquarium on their own with an activity booklet or scavenger hunt. Join us for the “Feeding Frenzy” every Friday starting at 10:00 AM to see our fish, turtles, and amphibians feast during a feeding demonstration. The AREC is closed on weekends and Federal Holidays.

Educator Professional Development Workshops

Educator Professional Development Workshops are available to informal and formal instructors of pre-K through High School students. Workshop participants receive free curriculum and activity guides, learn educational methodologies for teaching about water resources, aquatic ecology, and nature-based learning, and are introduced to supplemental resources. Visit the Environmental Education Workshops and Training page to learn more and register for an upcoming opportunity.

The AREC buildingAquatic Resources Education Center Location

1900 Anacostia Drive SE
Washington, DC 20020
Inside Anacostia Park, Section E
(next to Skating Pavilion) (see map)

Phone: (202) 535-2276

Public Hours: Monday—Friday 10am—2pm
Other hours (including weekends) by appointment only. The AREC is closed on Federal Holidays.

Contact TTY: 
711