SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is on a mission to make a difference to the world’s oceans – from the rescue of the tiniest sea creature to changes that will impact a whole ecosystem – and every time someone purchases a ticket to one of their parks, they are contributing too. Your SeaWorld Parks ticket helps to fund animal rescue, beach and shoreline clean ups, anti-plastic initiatives, education and training for a whole new generation of marine veterinarians.
To date, SeaWorld have rescued more than 35,000 animals, including 525 cetaceans (whales and dolphins), nearly 8,000 pinnipeds (seals) and 672 manatees from the oceans around their parks. In this interview JP Peterson, animal care supervisor at SeaWorld, gives us a little more insight into what SeaWorld’s rescue and rehabilitation work looks like:
However, it’s not enough simply to rescue these stricken animals – SeaWorld Parks want to actively make a difference to our oceans and promote this message to their guests. Organised beach and shoreline clean ups not only help to bring the community together but also remove a whole host of hazardous waste from our oceans that can injure or even kill some of the world’s most beautiful creatures. In one beach clean up on Mission Beach in San Diego alone, volunteers picked up 135kg of rubbish!
It’s no secret that the plague of plastic in our oceans is becoming a problem we can no longer ignore. Given the parks' commitment to conservation then, it’s no surprise that they were one of the world’s first theme parks to eliminate plastic bags, straws and cup lids from their parks. With the harmful and even deadly effects of ocean plastic being brought to their veterinary clinics every day, the park knew they had to take action and start straight away. Guests are encouraged to bring in refillable cups and use or purchase reusable bags. The SeaWorld Parks 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.
On the 5th March, 2019 all 12 SeaWorld Parks committed to banning polystyrene foam dinnerware products from its parks with immediate effect, replacing the bowls, plates and trays with products made from 100% recyclable material. According to Andrew Ngo, Corporate Vice President, in-park revenue, “This change allows us to save an estimated 14 million pieces of polystyrene foam dinnerware, which is resistant to decomposition and difficult to recycle, from entering the environment each year. Reducing our environmental footprint is an important part of our mission, and this achievement is another step toward becoming greater stewards of our oceans, their animals and our planet.”
Through actions and initiatives like the above, SeaWorld is also helping to educate a whole new generation of theme park visitors and animal lovers about animal conservation. Working with partners such as The Humane Society of the United States and Ocearch, SeaWorld has become a leader in the field of marine species conservation, wildlife rescue, education and environmental stewardship programs.
Want to contribute to the good work that SeaWorld does? All you need to do is purchase a ticket! And, if you purchase any add-on tickets for your trip to SeaWorld, $2 from every ticket will also be donated to UK wildlife charities. Click here to browse tickets.
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