News Column

Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium Celebrates World Oceans Day

June 5, 2014



BRONX, N.Y., June 5 -- The Wildlife Conservation Society issued the following news release:

As the annual United Nations-designated World Oceans Day approaches on June 8, the Wildlife Conservation Society'sNew York Aquarium will hold a special celebration for oceans during the weekend of June 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each day.

Throughout the weekend, WCS will educate the public about oceans and the New York Seascape - WCS's conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species and protect waters in and around New York City. These waters are important to wildlife and key to the area's economic and cultural vitality.

World Oceans Day celebrates oceans and raises awareness about their environmental importance. Oceans help generate oxygen, regulate climate, and are home to a plethora of marine species that are vital to life on earth.

The waters surrounding NYC serve as a feeding ground, nursery, and migratory corridor for hundreds of species of aquatic wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered. WCS's New York Seascape program, which is based out of the New York Aquarium, strives to protect these local waters. Our local waterways are essential to the environmental and economic well-being of New York City and its neighboring communities because of the animals that live here and the thriving commercial fish industry in the NY-NJ harbor.

Said Jon Forrest Dohlin, WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium: "Educational public events such as World Oceans Day at the New York Aquarium encourage our visitors to become informed stewards of our local and global waterways. Throughout the weekend, guests will learn about the oceans, marine wildlife, and what WCS is doing around the world to protect these ecosystems."

Said Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS's Global Marine Program: "Ocean ecosystems are diverse, but fragile. The marine animals that live here are facing serious environmental challenges from pollution, unsustainable fishing, and energy development. It is important to work on protecting and restoring these aquatic habitats now before it is too late."

World Oceans Day activities at the New York Aquarium include:

The Ocean Pledge -A message wall will display personal pledges written by visitors about saving the ocean. Examples of way to protect the oceans include not buying plastic water, turn off water faucets when they're not in use and not littering.

Sea Life on the Beach - New York Aquarium docents will be on site to answer questions about the ocean and its aquatic wildlife at the Sea Life on the Beach cart located on the Coney Island Boardwalk 2 to 4 p.m., both days.

Diver Discussions - New York Aquarium divers will be available to interact with visitors, share stories, answer questions and offer information about the importance of underwater diving in our oceans. Divers will be suited up in the aquarium's Glover's Reef exhibit and on the Ocean View Deck from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. both days.

Meet-and-greets with Bubble Guppies - Costumed characters Molly and Gil from the popular Nickelodeon TV series will be available for meet-and-greets both days at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Crafts and giveaways with a Bubble Guppies theme will be available while supplies last.

Selfie for the Sea using #IloveNYA- Visitors will be encouraged to post on social media about their experience at the aquarium using #IloveNYA and #WorldOceansDay.

Videos about saving the ocean, other green initiatives, and a Bubble Guppies episode about recycling will run in the aquarium's Ocean View room throughout the weekend.

WCS's expansive Global Marine Program conducts conservation efforts in 20 countries and all four oceans to help save threatened and endangered species.

The New York Aquarium broke ground this year on a new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, a project that is part of the effort to transform the aquarium and continue the rebirth of Coney Island. Currently under construction, the 57,000-square-foot building will house more than 115 species of marine wildlife, including sharks, skates, and rays. Ocean Wonders: Sharks! will be a destination for education and conservation programming with important benefits for the economy of Coney Island, Brooklyn, and all of New York City. The New York Seascape is the project's conservation program designed to restore healthy populations of local marine species and protect New York marine waters - all vital to wildlife and key to the area's economic and cultural vitality.

More information about New York Aquarium events, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! and the New York Seascape is available atwww.nyaquarium.com.

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