At Aquarium of the Pacific, we have one major goal: to empower our visitors with the knowledge to make a difference on the most pressing issues affecting our ocean planet. As Southern California’s largest aquarium and the fourth largest aquarium in the nation, we take our goal very seriously.
In fact, our mission is to instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants and ecosystems. We can’t do it alone, especially in this economy, when resources are limited.
Another key part of our mission is to create the first aquarium—and perhaps the first institution in the world—dedicated to conserving and building natural capital (nature and nature’s services) by building social capital (the interactions between and among peoples), which is why it’s so important for us to build and maintain partnerships.
For example, we recently expanded our partnership with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to provide recycling bins for our visitors. This is an extension of an alliance that began in November, 2008, with the opening of Our Watersheds: Pathway to the Pacific. ACC is a sponsor of this exhibit, which gives aquarium-goers the opportunity to learn more about our local watersheds and what we each can do to protect them.
Recycling is an integral part of protecting these “pathways” because too often readily recyclable materials end up as litter, and these items – plastic, cans, glass, etc.—belong in a recycling bin. The eight new containers are brightly decorated and feature messages and reminders to our visitors about the value of recycling and its effect on conservation.
With 1.5 million annual visitors, including 170,000 school children, we are confident that these receptacles will have a positive and long-lasting effect on our patrons, to not only recycle at the aquarium, but to recycle at home, at school and on the go.
Our partners and sponsors come from all walks of life because, ultimately, we’re all committed to the same thing: protecting the Pacific Ocean and its marine life through a variety of means, including recycling.
The Aquarium and our various partners understand that we must all work together to protect the earth and our oceans, when funds, friends and assistance are tough to come by. We encourage all Californians to do the same. Make sure you’re part of the solution, and help us meet our goal of protecting our oceans and waterways.
Guest post by Barbara Long, Vice President Government Relations and Special Projects, Aquarium of the Pacific