On June 8, SeaWorld celebrated World Oceans Day with a beach cleanup in Florida and a special event in San Diego.
More than 40 volunteers from SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tamps and The Ocean Conservancy hit the beach near St. Petersburg, Fla. to tackle one of the most pervasive pollution problems threatening the world's oceans - trash. Participants helped restore the beaches and mangrove hammocks along the Pinellas Bayway, a highly-trafficked roadway on the state's west coast.
The cleanup was just one way the parks celebrated World Oceans Day. In San Diego, SeaWorld also celebrated with an exhibit in the park's entrance plaza that included a display of its animal rescue vehicle and presentations by its animal rescue team. The park gives several hundreds ill, injured and stranded marine mammals, sea birds and sea turtles a second chance at life every year. An interactive area focused on showing guests how can take action in preventing pollution and trash from getting into our oceans. There was also a variety of the park's animal ambassadors, including penguins, on hand to greet guests.
Trash in our oceans is a pervasive pollution problem that affects marine wildlife and humans. SeaWorld routinely rescues endangered manatees and sea turtles that have become either become entangled in discarded fishing line -- often resulting in the amputation of a flipper -- or have become sick from ingesting human-made objects.
For beachgoers, sharp items like broken glass or metal cans can cause injuries while disposable diapers, cigarette butts and old chemical drums introduce bacteria, toxic compounds and other contaminants into the water.
World Oceans Day was established by The United Nations in 1992 to raise awareness of the important connection between people and the ocean. For more information on World Oceans Day and how you can get involved in your community visit www.theoceanproject.org/wod/.