SeaWorld celebrates this year’s World Oceans Day with special events and activities at its parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego. Across the United States and around the world, thousands of people will be gathering at hundreds of events to challenge everyone to help make a positive effect on what’s impacting the world’s oceans. Events will take place on and around June 8, the day officially recognized since 2008 by the United Nations, and will be hosted by a wide range of organizations – from aquariums and zoos to science museums, schools, fishing groups, surfers and scuba diving clubs.
United under this year’s theme, ‘healthy oceans, healthy planet,’ the events also will invite people to take action and prevent plastic pollution by taking the better bag challenge. This challenge encourages people to pledge to use reusable bags instead of disposable plastic bags for an entire year.
More than eight million tons of plastic trash ends up in the oceans every year, including millions of disposable plastic bags. An estimated 80 percent of plastic trash in the ocean comes from people on land – carried out to the ocean by rivers, streams and wind. The plastic trash chokes and kills animals like sea turtles, whales and sea birds that mistake the trash for food.
Reducing the amount of plastic used and discarded is the first step to making the oceans a healthier place for animals and humans.
“We’re encouraging the millions of people who visit our parks to get involved with this year’s ‘healthy oceans, healthy planet’ theme of World Oceans Day,” said Jill Kermes, Senior Corporate Affairs Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Our parks have eliminated plastic bags from our shops and now we’re using 100 percent recycled paper bags. We want everyone to take the better bag challenge and not use disposable plastic bags for a year.”
World Oceans Day will also be a day of significance for one of the oceans’ most iconic species when the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) issues an initial Request for Proposals for the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP).
SeaWorld and NFWF recently announced the KWRCP which will fund projects to study and protect killer whales in the wild. SeaWorld has committed $1.5 million over three years to this new partnership and NFWF will seek to match this commitment with additional public and private dollars. Support of the KWRCP is part of SeaWorld’s $10 million pledge to fund research and conservation for killer whales in the wild – the largest private commitment of its kind.
Activities at the SeaWorld parks this World Oceans Day include locations where guests can meet members of the SeaWorld Rescue Team and Education Specialists to find out what they can do to keep the oceans clean. Guests can also make an ocean promise and take a “Selfie for the Sea” to post on social media.
SeaWorld team members are continuing a multi-year tradition to celebrate the day by volunteering at beach cleanups on Florida’s West Coast. To find out more on local beach, river or lake cleanups or to plan a cleanup event, visit WorldOceansDay.org.
For more information about World Oceans Day activities at each SeaWorld park, go to SeaWorldCares.com/WorldOceansDay.