The way that we build can have profound impact on our oceans and, in an era in which global warming is rapidly changing ecosystems, building responsibly is vital for our oceans.View Post
Welcoming millions of visitors through their doors annually, aquariums are in a unique position to reach the public and promote protection of the aquatic environment. The animals living at these aquariums amaze and engage visitors, forging an emotional connection with the power to inspire long-term, pro-conservation behavior. Through promotion of their conservation policies, making sustainable business commitments, and inspiring audiences to act, aquariums are building deeper ties with their visitors, and in turn, within their communities.
It is these actions, along with compelling, conservation-focused exhibit content and educational programming, that have cemented an affinity within their local community that their aquarium is a trusted, science-backed conservation organization.
Leveraging their community stature, aquariums are partnering to raise a collective voice on important marine and freshwater policy and decision-making. Since 2017, the 27 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited members of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership have enthusiastically ramped up their activism for new models of conservation, essential protections and public policy. All organisms living on the Blue Planet – including us – are already reaping the rewards such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and more vibrant fisheries.
Aquarium-led public advocacy can range from promoting sustainable fisheries, endorsing the shift away from single-use plastic, advancing conservation and environmental justice legislation, and the creation of protected areas. Across the country, notable successes include:
As American marine biologist, oceanographer, and explorer Sylvia Earle has said, “Our past, our present, and whatever remains of our future absolutely depend on what we do now.” True to their missions, aquariums are rising to the challenge and taking charge – turning scientific expertise into emotional connections with the natural world, and inspiring people into action. As public awareness of the vitality of our oceans continues to grow, one thing is clear – our aquariums and their conservation efforts are making a positive impact on the future of our Blue Planet.