SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — 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.
SeaWorld San Antonio is now open daily through August 23.
For more information about World Oceans Day activities at each SeaWorld park, go to SeaWorldCares.com/WorldOceansDay.
About World Oceans Day
The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year. Since 2002, The Ocean Project has been the lead organization promoting and coordinating World Oceans Day events worldwide with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, and businesses. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations mark June 8th as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable its customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. The Company owns or licenses a portfolio of globally recognized brands including SeaWorld®, Shamu® and Busch Gardens®. Over its more than 50-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind collection of approximately 89,000 marine and terrestrial animals. The Company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld rescue team has helped more than 25,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.