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Sea Otters That Recycle, “Better Bags” and More at World Oceans Day

Category: Aquarium Announcement

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With dour reports on the extent and severity of plastic pollution in our oceans almost as abundant as the waste itself, it’s easy to feel discouraged. But on World Oceans Day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the focus will be on not just the problem but also on practical, everyday solutions.

Recycling, for instance, is one practice all of us can take part in—including sea lions and sea otters. Last year, Max the sea lion delighted visitors by properly disposing of a plastic soda bottle on exhibit. Not to be outdone, Schuster the sea otter will show that he too can “pitch in” by putting his plastic toys in the proper receptacle. Both are eager to live up to that recycling slogan, “Once Is Not Enough”, by showing off how good they’ve gotten at it.

By promoting responsible use and disposal of plastic to Aquarium visitors, Max and Aquarium staff will highlight the 2017 World Oceans Day theme, “Our Oceans, Our Future”. The goal is to call attention to the ocean’s inextricable link to the well-being of our planet, and how stopping plastic pollution benefits the world’s largest ecosystem—from plankton to people.

To illustrate the concept of reducing plastic consumption, visitors are encouraged to take the Better Bag Challenge by pledging to avoid disposable bags for at least one year. Pledgers will receive a free Aquarium tote bag sporting the slogan, “This Bag Saves Sea Turtles”.

At the Aquarium, staff, volunteers and even animals—Max and Schuster included—will go above and beyond to make the June 24th event extra special for Aquarium visitors. The annual event is celebrated by organizations across the globe to promote understanding and stewardship of the ocean.

“Really, every day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium is World Oceans Day, as the oceans are truly the heart of our planet,” said Lance Beck, Director of Marketing at the Aquarium. “But on this one day each year, we pull out all of the stops to celebrate the wonder and incredible value of our oceans. Through a large variety of family-friendly activities and presentations, we spotlight the vital role our oceans play for our planet, and how we can all help to protect the ocean we share.”

An aquarist will dissect a sea turtle cadaver, giving visitors a rare look into the incredible adaptations that allow these cold-blooded reptiles to survive in marine environments. The dissection will also touch upon the many threats facing sea turtle populations today, including plastic pollution, illegal wildlife trafficking and coastal development.

Youngsters and their families can dive into an ocean of fun during participatory video presentations by BLUE Ocean Film Festival award-winners Sisbro Studios.

Visitors can chat with divers as they swim with sharks in Passages of the Deep or embark on a scavenger hunt to win Aquarium treasures, including sleepovers, animal paintings and a chance to smooch a pinniped! Guests will also be invited behind-the-scenes of the marine mammal exhibits to chat with Aquarium mammalogists about how they care for these animals.

World Oceans Day activities are free with Aquarium admission and advance registration is not required. For more information visit aquarium.org or call 541-867-FISH.

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