International Plastic Bag Free Day 2017

July 3rd marks International Plastic Bag Free Day. Today signifies the ability for the world to come together and create an environment that is plastic free and educating individuals about current alternatives to plastics and other wastes.

Sea Turtle and Plastic Bag

Did you know? About 80% of marine litter is plastic. This constant influx of litter and waste on a marine environment can have negative effects for the animals living there.

Today of all days, it is important to realize that anyone can help to make a difference in the environment. We hope the tips below will help you on your way to being a true advocate for marine wildlife preservation.

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Last year, Wave Foundation volunteers collected 95 bags of trash plus tires, and more along the Ohio River bank during Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) #RiverSweep

5 Ways to be a Marine Wildlife Advocate

  1. Make the Switch Away from Plastics
    • Small things like buying fresh and local products that avoid individual packaging and bulk packaging can be extremely beneficial. Bring your own cloth reusable bag to any store you shop at to avoid using plastic bags. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and help lower the amount of plastic bottles that end up in our oceans!  Shark Bridge swag
  2. Get Out There and Join in the Collective Effort
  3. Respect Marine Life
    • One of the best ways to gain a greater appreciation of wildlife and wildlife preservation is through education. Newport Aquarium is not only an exciting day of adventure but can also teach you a lot about different animal species and what the scientific community is doing to protect some of those species.
  4. Contact Local Officials
    • If you see an issue with a local body of water, say something. Remember your voice is important in making change in the world. Even if it is just a polluted creek, you never know where that debris could end up or what kind of wildlife could be affected.
  5. Spread the Word
    • Now that you know a little bit more about what you can do to make a difference, tell someone else. Reach out to family. Invite friends to join you in the next river sweep. Each person that is informed and that gets involved brings the world one step closer to creating a safer environment for our beloved aquatic animals.

 

North Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch

Trash islands in North Pacific Gyre. Photo Credit: Mario Aguilera / Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Around 1 million plastic bags are in use around the world every minute. On average, each of those bags will only be used for about 25 minutes. Once those plastics end out in nature it will take 100-500 years to disintegrate depending on the plastic.

 

 

 

 

To learn more visit: Newport Aquarium and WAVE Foundation

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One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444

Embrace Sustainability for National Seafood Month

By Madison Wallace, Newport Aquarium PR Aidesushi-bazooka-5

NEWPORT, Ky. — October is National Seafood Month! Our nation’s love of seafood is linked to increased brain health and a healthier economy, along with being slightly problematic to ocean conservation.

The average American eats 16 pounds of fish every year, making the United States the third highest country globally for seafood consumption.

While fishing is one of the world’s oldest professions, the extent to which we are depleting our oceans’ species and marine life is unprecedented. In the past decades, an estimated 70 percent of marine species have been added to the list of “fully depleted” species, according to the United Nations.

This is happening as a result of overfishing.

The commercial demand for fish is disrupting ecosystems at a rate too rapid for the population to replenish. Fish populations of cod, haddock and flounder have fallen by as much as 95 percent in the last decade alone.

When you read “National Seafood Month”, you might have begun to plan your next late night sushi fix; however, you might want to reconsider.underwater-tuna-world

Five of the eight species of tuna are listed as “at risk for extinction”. Bluefin tuna can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and this makes them extremely valuable, especially to the sushi industry.

If tuna were to go extinct, many marine ecosystems would lose an apex predator, thus destabilizing the entire food chain, and resulting in a multitude of smaller fish varieties overrunning particular areas. This would undermine the foundations of microorganisms that make our oceanic ecosystems sustainable.

iphone6_SFW_appThe WAVE Foundation, Newport Aquarium’s nonprofit partner, is a promoter of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is a program that allows seafood connoisseurs to identify how sustainable the seafood they consume is.

Seafood Watch is available as an app as well as online, and asks the user a series of questions to determine where their seafood came from and how overfished the species is. It then offers suggestions and gives ratings based on how overfished a species is.

“Our choices matter”, proclaims the opening screen of the Seafood Watch app. This statement is fitting.

For National Seafood Month, don’t stop eating seafood out of guilt, focus on making sure your choices are supporting the type of world you would like to live in.

It might seem normal to order seafood without a second thought to how it was caught, but Seafood Watch offers an alternative.

We all can take part in reversing the damages of overfishing; simple things like downloading the Seafood Watch smartphone app or asking your waiter “Do you serve sustainable seafood?” the next time you dine out can make a big difference.

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Newport Aquarium has showcased thousands of animals from around the world in a million gallons of water since May 15, 1999. Named one of the best aquariums in the U.S. by Travel Channel and USA Today, Newport Aquarium is a Herschend Family Entertainment company and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Newport Aquarium is open to the public 365 days a year and located across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee.

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One Aquarium Way | Newport, KY 41071 | 859-261-7444
www.newportaquarium.com