AZA News Releases

World Oceans Day Events at AZA-Accredited Aquariums and Zoos Raise Awareness of Ocean Conservation

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

“The AZA’s 224 accredited aquariums and zoos work to actively engage millions of people to help save species,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science, Dr. Debborah Luke. “Aquariums provide an unparalleled opportunity for visitors to gain rare glimpses into the lives of marine animals and learn about conservation issues affecting our oceans.  AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos serve as vital community resources by which more than 180 million visitors, each year,are able to build connections to nature and are inspired to help protect our oceans.”

The National Research Council has reported that most science-based learning happens outside the classroom.  AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos are leaders in reaching 182 million people every year with important, science-based information about ocean conservation. Recent public opinion research conducted by AZA’s partner in ocean conservation, The Ocean Project,indicates that the public trusts and looks to aquariums, zoos, and museums to learn more about the issues and ways each person can take personal action to help our ocean.

For a list of World Oceans Day events taking place at AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos, please visit The participating facilities are also listed below:

Akron Zoo

Albuquerque Biological Park

Alexandria Zoological Park

Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Pacific

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Binghamton Zoo

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Bramble Park Zoo

Brandywine Zoo

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo

Brevard Zoo

Buttonwood Park Zoo

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cameron Park Zoo


Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo

Downtown Aquarium Denver

Erie Zoo

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Georgia Aquarium

Gladys Porter Zoo

Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History

Greensboro Science Center

Greenville Zoo

Henson Robinson Zoo

Houston Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Jenkinson's Aquarium

Kansas City Zoo

Lehigh Valley Zoo

Lincoln Children's Zoo

Lion Country Safari

Minnesota Zoo

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium

Nashville Zoo

National Aquarium

New England Aquarium

New York Aquarium

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Palm Beach Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Potawatomi Zoo

Racine Zoo

Red River Zoo

Reid Park Zoo

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

Salisbury Zoo

San Antonio Zoo

San Francisco Zoological Society

Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo

Scovill Zoo

SeaWorld San Antonio

Sequoia Park Zoo

Shark Reef Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

Texas State Aquarium

The Calgary Zoological Society and Botanical Gardens

The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot

Topeka Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Vancouver Aquarium

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Virginia Living Museum

WAVE Foundation at the Newport Aquarium

Wildlife Safari

Zoo Miami 

Take Action 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 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 or Shedd Aquarium’s Right Bite.

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 at

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. 

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. 

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.

 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

About The Ocean Project

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

About World Oceans Day

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 action in 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

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