Posts Tagged 'earth day'

Simple Action: Share your yard with wildlife

Today’s Simple Action is to share your yard with wildlife.

Spring has arrived, and for many, yard maintainance and gardening has been added to the weekly to-do lists. There are very simple things you can do in your yard that will make a world of difference for our environment and wildlife.

 Americans directly apply 70 million pounds of pesticides to home lawns and gardens each year and, in so doing, kill birds and other wildlife and pollute our precious water resources. Instead of using pesticides, control insects using natural controls.

Also, plant native trees and shrubs because they use less fertilizer. Landscaping with natives, commonly referred to as “bayscaping,” also provides better food and shelter for wildlife, and requires less maintenance. These plants are adapted to local soil, rainfall and temperature conditions, and have developed natural defenses to many insects and diseases. Because of these traits, native plants will grow with minimal use of water, fertilizers and pesticides. 

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Simple Action: Volunteer your time

To celebrate Earth Day, every day this week we are sharing a simple action that can be taken to impact change. Everyone can do something to impact the health of our planet. Today, we’d like to encourage the simple action of volunteering.

Volunteering just a few hours of your time at a neighborhood cleanup or planting event is an easy way to show support for a healthy planet, and can really make an impact. In addition to Earth Day, organizations around the country are also celebrating National Volunteer Week.

In 2009, the Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) helped restore 119 acres of Chesapeake Bay habitat, planted more than 1 million grasses and removed 539,936 pieces of debris from public parks! Only with the help of our dedicated, passionate volunteers are we able to restore habitat and create a cleaner, thriving environment.

While at a dune restoration event last week in Virginia Beach, ACT! stopped by a 2006 project site for monitoring. We are pleased to report the successful revival of the sand dunes at Little Creek, Virginia.

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Simple actions can impact change

This Thursday, April 22, organizations around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. At the National Aquarium, this event marks the global recognition of the need for environmental change.

Let’s make a difference! To show how simple actions can impact change, we invite you to take part in our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge…and Contest.

Visit our Facebook page and pledge to “attend” our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge and Contest event. Make it known to family, friends and the social community that you want to make a difference. Now through Earth Day, April 22, replace your Facebook profile picture with one of the two graphics in the event. By showing your support, you’ll be entered into a special contest!

And then spread the word! Encourage others to “attend” our Earth Day 40th Anniversary “I Like This” Challenge and change their picture too. Let’s see how many we can inspire to make a difference. Can we reach 10,000?

Throughout the week we will be sharing simple actions that you can make to celebrate Earth Day and help impact change.

Simple action #1: Visit local nature centers, museums and aquariums, for fun, family-friendly activities. Often these places will offer free tours or talks about the flora and fauna of the area, as well as some of the history of the place you’re visiting.

Join the Aquarium this Saturday, April 24, during our Earth Day Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. And in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, enjoy a special discount for this weekend only: Take $4.00 off Total Experience tickets to the National Aquarium, Baltimore, for visits on April 24 and 25. Max 4 per order. Valid at only. Enter code EARTH40.

Transforming Experiences

It is important to recognize that ocean health starts with each of us. At the Aquarium we have seen first hand that action follows experiences that change our thinking. For some,  its seeing the Chesapeake Bay for the first time through a school field experience. For others, its getting face-to-face with the Aquarium’s amazing animals or attending a thought-provoking lecture. 

Our friends and associates have wonderful stories of experiences at the National Aquarium that have transformed their lives, actions and behaviors. We’d like to share one of those experiences with you:

I met my wife Kathy in the rainforest, while she was working as a volunteer for the Aquarium. I was standing on a ladder sculpting a natural looking rock planter near the waterfall. She asked if I wanted her help. We started talking about things like the animals in the rainforest and photography, which was the other half of my job at the time. Kathy had a great interest in insects and herps. She kept an iguana named Iggy for 29 years! We decided to get married in the Rain Forest because we both have a deep appreciation for nature, and we had to return to the “scene of the crime.” Kathy and I have been all over the world photographing wildlife above and below the water’s surface. When people view my images, I want them to see and feel what I see in that subject. The drama and the intrigue; the shape, color, and beauty. All the work I do for the Aquarium and outside the Aquarium, promotes a strong conservation message. With Kathy and my colleagues, I feel I am a part of some greater good.

George Grall
Staff Photographer, National Aquarium/Professional Freelance Photographer, National Geographic

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Pledging to protect Our Ocean Planet

Our Ocean Planet, the new dolphin show at the National Aquarium, comes with an dolphin-earth-jumpfinal-smallimportant message: our behaviors affect dolphins and other ocean animals in many ways, both good and bad.  We all have a duty to make sure we are protecting – not hurting – the dolphin’s beautiful ocean world!

Visitors have been learning more about this world and different ways to help save it.  Since dolphins cannot clean up the trash and debris that drift into the oceans, the show encourages humans to get involved in solving this global problem. Take a look at the pledges we have recieved from children to help the dolphins in various ways – all of which you can do at home, too! 

“I recycle.  I clean my house.” — Ravi

“I will move the slime out of the way.” — Jenna Mackenzie

“I will clean water for many fish.” — Eoen

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Happy Earth Day!

Green Tip #1: On this Earth Day, consider choosing a more fuel efficient vehicle. 
You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only three miles a gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid (like the one the Aquarium raffled off at its Green Gala!).

If you’re not in the market for a new car, you can still do your part! Keep your car tuned up
 – regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just one percent of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated, because 
it can improve gas mileage by more than three percent. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

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