How to Celebrate World Oceans Day and Raise Ocean Conservation Awareness

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Sunday, June 8, 2014 is World Oceans Day. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation, Newport Aquarium wants to help spread the word about ocean conservation.

The following is a list of actions you can take to help celebrate World Oceans Day (provided by the AZA)!

Visit an AZA-accredited Aquarium or Zoo – Every time you visit your local aquarium or zoo you are helping to support conservation projects locally and worldwide.  Ask staff how you can help contribute to conservation.  Find the aquarium or zoo near you.

Donate Your Time And Money – Volunteer to help the AZA-accredited aquarium or zoo near you. Participate in a beach clean up or attend a similar ocean-saving event.  Your commitment is the most valuable thing you can contribute to help conserve the ocean.

Tell Your Friends! – Educate others about the importance of ocean conservation and what they can do to help.  You can start by liking the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Animals Inc. by AZA on Facebook.

Make Smart Seafood Choices – Seafood species are in trouble. Overfishing, bycatch, habitat damage, and the establishment of fish farms, have created problems for many aquatic species.  You can make a difference with your purchasing power by buying seafood harvested sustainably.   Learn more with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

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Conserve Water – Although many North Americans have easy, regular access to water, it is a scarce resource in many parts of the world and is being used up more quickly than natural processes can replenish it.  The less water we use, the less runoff and wastewater will pollute our ocean.  Fix leaky faucets, turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, and keep your showers short.

Reduce marine debris by eliminating junk mail.

Selfie for the sea – Show the world that you are part of the growing movement of people taking personal action for our ocean, take a selfie showing how you’re helping the ocean or make a promise, and post with #WorldOceansDay! Learn more: http://WorldOceansDay.org/promise.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – The energy we use creates emissions that contribute to global climate change and adverse effects on the ocean, such as acidification, sea level rise and threats to marine mammals like polar bears. Leave your car at home and opt for public transportation, or, where possible, cycle to your destination.  Use energy saving light bulbs and turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Learn how aquariums and zoos are doing their part.

Obtain a renewable energy credit to help combat ocean acidification.

Keep Your Watershed Clean – A watershed is the area of land where rain and snow-melt drains downhill into rivers and lakes, and eventually to the sea.  Trash and chemicals in a watershed flow to the ocean.  Help keep your watershed clean.  Don’t litter, and dispose of trash properly.  Check with your local aquarium or zoo to volunteer to help with clean up efforts at beaches, rivers, lakes, and other watershed areas!

Limit Chemical Usage – Chemicals that find their way into water sources eventually find their way to sea, where they harm animals and damage ocean habitats.  Purchase organic produce, limit the use of chemicals in your home activities and make sure you dispose of oil, outdated medicines, and other toxic household products safely.

Oppose The Taiji Drive Fishery – Every year in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are slaughtered by local fishermen.  AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are against this painful, inhumane practice.  AZA sponsors a campaign to halt Japan’s annual dolphin drive called Act for Dolphins which was launched by a coalition of zoo and aquarium professionals and scientists seeking to raise awareness and bring an end to the Taiji slaughter.

Ditch Plastic – Plastic products harm marine life and habitats.  Keep plastics out of the ocean by using reusable bags at the store and reusable bottles for drinks instead of disposable plastic ones.  Be sure to recycle any plastics that you do use.

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About AZA: Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

The Ocean Project inspires action to protect our ocean. We help aquariums and other visitor-serving organizations effectively engage with their millions of visitors to create a more sustainable society. The Ocean Project’s network of over 2,000 partner zoos, aquariums, museums (ZAMs) and other conservation organizations is the largest ever developed. We empower our partners with cutting-edge communications research, tools and resources that help ZAMs capture people’s imaginations, create more engaged citizens and communities, and result in a significant impact. The Ocean Project is the lead coordinator of World Oceans Day. More about The Ocean Project can be found at: www.TheOceanProject.org.

World Oceans Day is an opportunity to honor the world’s oceans. No matter where we live, each of us is dependent on a healthy ocean for our survival. Recognized by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is held June 8th of every year. World Oceans Day serves as a global rallying point for raising awareness and promoting personal and community actionin fun and positive ways, leading to a more aware, engaged, and sustainable society, and a healthier ocean and climate. Thanks to people like you, approximately 600 events were held to celebrate World Oceans Day last year and we plan to double that number in 2014! Let’s make this year even better by holding great events, sharing, and spreading the word. Learn more at: www.WorldOceansDay.org

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