Posts Tagged 'conservation programs'

Thoughtful Thursdays: Looking Past World Oceans Day

Blog-Header-ConservationExp

If you ask anyone to use one word to describe the ocean, you’ll most likely hear one of the following; amazing, awesome, powerful, wonderful, hypnotic, miraculous, magical, vast, incredible, inspiring, etc. Of course, there are many, many more descriptive words for the sea, but these are the most popular – and the most emotional. They all communicate much more than a technical description. These are words that evoke deep sensitivities. Maybe it is because we know the ocean provides for us – or that we depend on it for so many things or maybe it is because we are instinctively aware of our deep connection to the ocean.

Few things are more peaceful than staring out at the ocean!

Few things are more peaceful than staring out at the ocean!

June 8th is World Oceans Day. At the National Aquarium, we will take this opportunity to talk to our guests and community about why we love the ocean and why it deserves our protection. We will also spend some time talking about the challenges that the ocean is facing, challenges like pollution, global warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification and overfishing. This weekend, we’ll offer activities designed to provide ideas on ocean-friendly choices we all can make at home and we’ll invite our visitors to join us at one of our upcoming ocean conservation events. I hope you’ll be able to join us this weekend!

Plastic debris at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Shrine here in Baltimore. Plastic pollution is seriously hurting the ocean and its inhabitants!

Plastic debris at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Shrine here in Baltimore. Plastic pollution is seriously hurting the ocean and its inhabitants!

More importantly, once you go back to your normal lives next week, I’d like to ask that you continue your passion for our oceans. Take what you learned on World Oceans Day and incorporate them into your daily routines. I know this is easier said than done – so I’d like to offer some tips on how to make this easier:

  • Decide what you love most about the ocean. This could be its plants or animals, beaches, recreation opportunities or its resources!
  • Find ways you can help what you love. Research some of challenges our ocean is facing and identify those that particularly effect the thing you love the most. I.e. if you love sea turtles, you might want to work on plastics pollution, fisheries bycatch issues, nesting beach protection or endangered species conservation.
  • Decide on one thing you will change in your life that will make a positive change. Now you know you want to help reduce the amount of plastics in the ocean. You can decide if you want to help remove what is already there (participate in community cleanup events like the International Coastal Cleanup) or reduce what our society is adding to the problem by decreasing or eliminating some single-use plastics (like water bottles and disposable coffee cups) in your life.
  • Commit to making that change a permanent part of your daily routine by World Ocean’s Day 2014. Honestly, changing your daily routine is not easy. It will not happen overnight and will take significant and ongoing commitment – even for seemingly easy changes. So I’m also asking you to give yourself a break. Give yourself time to make this happen. Make a World Oceans Day Resolution! Commit to making a change this year, set a goal, mark your progress throughout the year and then, ideally, you will reach your goal by next World Oceans Day!
  • Celebrate your success and share your stories with us along the way! Give yourself a pat on the back. Committing to, working towards and ultimately hitting your goal was not easy and you deserve to feel proud. Maybe you volunteered for 3 cleanup events and helped remove 60 lbs. of trash that otherwise would have made its way into our ocean. Maybe you stopped buying bottled water and removed 365 bottles from the waste stream. Congratulations! You’re making a difference. Share your stories with us so that your successes can help inspire others to make a difference for our oceans. Warning: Helping our ocean can be addictive. I predict (and hope) that this one commitment will lead to others along the way.

The ocean is a treasure worthy of our respect and admiration. Thank you in advance for making a difference!

Blog-Header-LauraBankey

Thoughtful Thursdays: REI Grant Award for Environmental Stewardship

The Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) was recently granted $10,000 dollars by REI for environmental stewardship!

As part of their community outreach program, REI supports nonprofit partners that focus on both environmental conservation and promoting active volunteerism through grant funding. REI first began supporting National Aquarium’s education and conservation efforts in 2003. They have long been a great supporter of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Please join us in thanking them for their generous and continued support!

REI have been on-site at many of our conservation events!

REI have been on-site at many of our conservation events!

This grant will help support our conservation efforts at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Located here in Baltimore, the wetlands surrounding Ft. McHenry are home to a diverse array of wildlife including hundreds of species of birds, reptiles like box turtles and diamondback terrapins, and aquatic animals like juvenile blue crabs and small fish.

Since taking over stewardship of the area in 1999, staff and volunteers with ACT! have collected nearly 600,000 pieces of debris from the area. In addition to seasonal cleanups, our field days at Ft. McHenry include trail maintenance, light construction, or planting native flowers in our rain and butterfly gardens.

A volunteer picking up debris along the shoreline at Ft. McHenry

A volunteer picking up debris along the shoreline at Ft. McHenry

REI first began supporting National Aquarium’s education and conservation efforts in 2003. They have long been a great supporter of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. Please join us in thanking them for their generous and continued support!

Want to get involved with our Ft. McHenry initiative? Join us at our fall field day!


Sign up for AquaMail

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers