Written by Rachel Krasna and Brittany Stockman
Can museums help foster a culture of sustainability? SeaKeepers believes that the below aquariums and zoos are doing exactly that. Although many of the exhibits featured approach climate change cautiously, SeaKeepers expects these exceptional platforms will inspire young minds to care about our planet and generate an overall sentiment of ocean stewardship. By stimulating dialogue and encouraging reflection through interactive exhibits, the following aquariums and zoos really stepped up to the plate to raise awareness about controversial environmental issues.
First, head over to the west coast and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium just South of San Francisco. In June, 2012, the aquarium revealed a new exhibit entitled “Play Your Part,” which directly addresses humanity’s unsustainable culture and associated effects on the marine environment. The exhibit encourages the public to make minor changes in their everyday routine that can dramatically reduce their ecological footprint. Additionally, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers various volunteer programs, networking opportunities and outreach events that raise awareness about climate change, spiraling population growth and fossil fuel dependency.
Is anyone planning a vacation in? The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden utilizes power generated by solar panels located in nearby parking lots. This green energy initiative is actually the largest publically accessible urban solar array in the today. Such forward thinking inspired other neighboring zoos to follow suit and offer exhibits that educate children about the importance of sustainable energy usage.
Baltimore Aquarium hosted the Communicated and the Oceans Summit along with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the New England Aquarium. The conference, led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), evaluated strategies to promote climate change and ocean acidification exhibits in museums nationwide.is home to the nation’s National Aquarium. Located in Baltimore’s downtown inner harbor, the National Aquarium features all the expected exhibits including Dolphin Discovery, Upland Tropical Rainforest, and Australia: Wild Extremes. Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance; however, tells a more cautionary tale. The exhibit discusses the origins of nine jellyfish species and their ability to take advantage of shifts in the marine ecosystem. To put it bluntly: Jellies are changing the balance of Earth’s aquatic habitats by dominating food webs altered by overexploitation. Also, this past April, the
Now let’s head across the pond for tea and crumpets. While touring Buckingham palace and Big Ben swing over to the United Kingdom’s Chester Zoo located in Chester, England. The zoo launched a climate conscious exhibit titled “Hot Pink Flamingos,” which explores numerous ways for us to reduce our carbon footprint. By promoting alternative energy sources and even eco-cooking tips, the interactive exhibit encourages visitors to think outside the box and explore environmentally conscious practices.