Ocean Conservation

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Ocean Conservation Page Photo

© Stephen Conley, Aquarium of the Pacific 

Ocean Conservation

Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, whether it's the ocean, a river, a lake, or a pond. All of these bodies of water form an interconnected aquatic ecosystem. What happens upriver affects the water and habitats downstream and onward to the ocean.

Oceans provide homes to an incredible amount of biodiversity, have the means to supply sustainable fisheries if managed correctly, and offer a plethora of human resources. Did you know that phytoplankton produce more of the worlds oxygen than all of the trees on the globe? Environmental stressors, such as climate disruption, pollution, habitat damage, and overfishing are causing significant losses in ocean habitats and species.

AZA provides conservation and education resources, subsidizes research and conservation projects, advocates on the local, national and international levels, and maintains partnerships with like-minded government and non-government agencies to raise awareness of ocean issues and promote ocean conservation.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums host more than 181 million visitors annually and play a vital role in advancing ocean conservation, science, and education. By partnering with their local communities, teachers, responsible companies, like-minded conservation organizations, state and federal government agencies, AZA-accredited institutions are dedicated to conserving ocean resources for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.

Conservation Contributions

AZA, its Aquarium Affairs Committee, Aquatic Sustainability Task Force, and related Animal Programs, including those related to freshwater and marine fishes, coral, marine invertebrates, marine mammals, and sea turtles, cooperatively serve to recommend species for cooperative management, develop superior animal care and management strategies, establish research and conservation priorities, and develop resources to help AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums develop successful, sustainable, and strategic conservation and education programs.

AZA-accredited aquariums contribute to ocean conservation in a variety of ways including but not limited to marine animal rescue and rehabilitation, coral reef rebuilding, wetland restoration, sustainable seafood programs, beach clean up events, and sea turtle monitoring. Every time you visit your local aquarium a portion of your entry fees are used to support ocean conservation projects.

Public Research

AZA, working cooperatively with The Ocean Project, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, initiated a research survey in June 2008 to quantify public awareness, attitudes, and actions concerning the ocean, environment, and climate disruption. This qualitative and quantitative scope of work,thought to be the single most comprehensive public opinion survey ever undertaken on behalf of any environmental concern, enabled the means to identify and track changes in public actions and attitudes relating to the ocean over time. Read more about Visitor and Public Research.