SeaWorld is a park committed to conservation, so it comes as no surprise that they are one of the first theme parks in the world to highlight the scourge of plastic in our oceans. Although plastic straws have been discouraged for a while due to the potential harmful effect of the litter and debris on the animals that call SeaWorld home, this new move is a step in the right direction for the park to eliminate unnecessary plastic forever.
This announcement comes just days after Rescue Operations Manager Jon Peterson and his team had to perform a rescue and emergency operation on a sea turtle named Collin who had come in with a plastic blockage in his abdomen. With the harmful effects of plastic on the environment coming right to their door every day, it was time to take action.
In a press release, SeaWorld said: "Recent news and studies have shown alarming consequences of the growing threat of plastics to our oceans and wildlife. The Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy group, estimates that eight million metric tons of plastics enter the ocean each year, on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate the planet. This prevalence of plastics in the ocean has been making its way into the diets of marine animals that mistake it for food and become sick or even die”.
SeaWorld’s conservation efforts extend beyond just cutting down on plastic though. The park is dedicated to rescuing and releasing wild marine animals and, where necessary, providing exemplary care to any animals that need nursing back to health. You can see some of these animals in the manatee rehabilitation area of the park, which has been opened to the public.
To find out more about SeaWorld’s commitment to conservation and animal rescue, watch our interview with JP Peterson:
SeaWorld will now offer re-usable canvas tote bags with fun designs which guests can purchase from between $0.99 and $7.99, depending on the size and strength of the bag.
To visit SeaWorld and see their conservation efforts for yourself (as well as enjoying some fantastic rides and shows!), click here.
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