AZA News Releases

World Oceans Day 2015

Silver Spring, MD – As leaders in ocean conservation education and science, aquariums and zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) invite the public to dive in to ocean conservation on June 8 – World Oceans Day.

“Seventy percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water, and oceans are especially important as they support an incredible amount of biodiversity, help balance ecosystems, and help supply humans with sustainable fisheries when managed correctly,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science, Dr. Debborah Luke. “Factors such as pollution, climate change, and overfishing are negatively impacting the health of our oceans and the marine animals living in this environment.  AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos are proactively supporting marine research and conservation projects, rehabilitating sick or injured marine animals, serving as ocean advocates and stewards, collaborating with other conservation partners, and engaging the 180 million people who visit these facilities each year so we can help protect the oceans, and the animals who depend on them, for future generations.”

Approximately 90 AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos are joining this year’s World Oceans Day celebration. Managed by The Ocean Project since 2002, this event emphasizes the importance of oceans in our global ecosystem and promotes practices to keep the oceans clean.

To help you find the World Oceans Day event at an AZA-accredited facility nearest you, below is a list of participating aquariums and zoos. Please be sure to visit your local facility’s website for more information about the event.

Akron Zoo

Alaska SeaLife Center

Albuquerque Biological Park

Alexandria Zoo

Aquarium of the Pacific

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Audubon Nature Institute

Bergen County Zoo

Bramble Park Zoo

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo

Buttonwood Park Zoo

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cameron Park Zoo


Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

David Traylor Zoo of Emporia, KS

Denver Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo

Downtown Aquarium - Denver

Downtown Aquarium - Houston

Elmwood Park Zoo

Erie Zoo

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Georgia Aquarium

Greensboro Science Center

Greenville Zoo

Henson Robinson Zoo

Houston Zoo

Hutchinson Zoo

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jenkinson's Aquarium

John Ball Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Lion Country Safari

Little Rock Zoo

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden

Milwaukee County Zoo

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium

Nashville Zoo

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

New England Aquarium

NEW Zoo & Adventure Park

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Zoo

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Peoria Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Potawatomi Zoo

Racine Zoo

Red River Zoo

Reid Park Zoo

Ripley's Aquarium at Myrtle Beach, SC

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens

Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

S.E.A. Aquarium

Salisbury Zoo

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo

Scovill Zoo

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld Orlando

Sequoia Park Zoo

Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

South Carolina Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium

Texas State Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden

Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

Topeka Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Virginia Living Museum

Virginia Zoo

WAVE Foundation at the Newport Aquarium

Zoo Miami 

For a complete listing of World Oceans Day events, please visit 

Suggested Actions You Can Take to Help The Oceans: 

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 “AZA Animals” Facebook pages.

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 theMonterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program or Shedd Aquarium’s Right Bite.

Conserve Water – Although many North Americans have 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 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.

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. 

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.  

Learn more about the involvement of AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos in ocean conservation, as well as how you can help, by visiting and

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