The Oklahoma City Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru invite you to dive in to ocean conservation on World Oceans Day. This global celebration provides a unique opportunity to learn about, help protect and conserve our blue planet. Join the fun on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to learn what actions you can take to ensure our local and global water sources are healthy for future generations. World Oceans Day activities will be held in the Children’s Zoo on Grandma’s Porch and will include Seafood Watch talks and videos, the opportunity to decorate a reusable shopping bag, keeper chats, kids’ activities with prizes and more. The theme for 2019 is “together we can protect and restore our oceans.” All activities are free with paid Zoo admission.
“Oceans are the environmental connective tissue that unite us all,” said Rebecca Snyder, OKC Zoo curator of conservation and science. “Even though Oklahoma is landlocked, it’s important to recognize the decisions we make, especially related to single-use plastics, can still greatly impact the health of our local rivers and lakes as well as our oceans.”
With an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, plastic pollution poses a threat to human health and harms marine life. Unless significant changes are made, the ocean will have more plastic by weight than fish by 2050. The primary direct threats that single-use plastic poses to marine life are entanglement and ingestion. Many marine animals accidentally mistake plastic for food and choke or get sick by ingesting it. These interactions with plastic are often fatal. Additionally, plastic pollution damages and alters habitat and can have substantial negative impacts on local economies. More than 80% of marine litter comes from land-based sources and businesses and governments spend billions on cleaning up litter.
In addition to its overall ocean conservation efforts, including the celebration of World Oceans Day each year, the Zoo has partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program to promote sustainable seafood messaging. Zoo staff members will be available during the Zoo’s World Oceans Day event on June 8 to answer questions about sustainable seafood and how Oklahomans can join and benefit.
Seafood Watch, a program started in 1999 by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Seafood Watch raises awareness through consumer guides, website information, mobile applications and outreach efforts. The OKC Zoo joins them as a Conservation Partner institution in their effort to protect and advocate for the Ocean’s ecosystem.