Wildlife and people alike depend on the ocean for survival, which is why we're doing a part everyday to ensure a healthy future for our seas.
Through a variety of programs, we're tackling the most critical issues facing the ocean, from marine debris and climate change to overfishing.
Read on to see the biggest threats to our oceans and what we’re doing to combat them.
Injured and Ill Wildlife
Countless wildlife each year suffer from illness and injures each year. Birds, sea turtles, and other species right here in the Gulf of Mexico are threatened by natural causes or human activity – including being entangled entangled in nets and fishing line, leading to injuries, infection, and sometimes even starvation. Without help, they can die.
Our Wildlife Rescue personally treats hundreds of animals each year, many affected by line entanglement.
Education and Awareness
We reach hundreds each year to share the dangers that plastic lines pose to wildlife and their habitats.
Of all the pollutants affecting the ocean, plastics are by far the biggest problem, making up eighty percent of more of marine debris. Plastics like water bottles, six-pack rings, and ziploc bags can litter the ocean for hundreds of years, since they don’t biodegrade easily. Plastic items can also kill and injure wildlife, some of which may even accidentally ingest these items. Harmful toxins in plastic can also leech into sea water, poisoning animals’ natural habitats.
We've eliminated single-use plastic from most of our operations, showing guests how eco-friendly alternatives are better for the ocean.
Every year, we remove trash from local coastlines as a partner of the statewide Adopt-a-Beach program.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We provide plenty of recycling stations onsite and encourage our guests to always practice the "Three R's."
Endangered Wildlife and Coral Reefs
Animals on land and sea are threatened by a variety of human activities, with many on the brink of extinction.
Through our partnership with SECORE International, we're helping to give coral reefs a future by studying and growing them in our Aquatic Nursery and helping facilitate their reintroduction back into the ocean.
As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' SAFE program, the Aquarium joins forces with other scientists and experts to identify threats, develop action plans, raise new resources and engage the public to save species threatened with extinction.
The Aquarium manages several Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs (overseen by AZA) to oversee the population management of select species. These programs, unique to each species in our collection, enhance the conservation of their species in the wild through research, husbandry, management, and educational initiatives.
“There’s plenty of fish in the sea” may be a common expression, but the reality is there are fewer and fewer fish swimming the ocean every year. A rising demand for seafood and highly-efficient fishing technology have led to many species being removed from the ocean faster than they can repopulate. Many popular fish are now at serious risk of going extinct. If that were to happen, millions of people would not only be deprived of a vital food source, but countless other species that depend on those fish could also go extinct.
This educational and entertaining event informs guests of the importance of sustainable seafood.
Sustainable Seafood Education
Our exhibits and programs regularly inform guests of the importance of sustainable seafood.
Environmental Sustainability and Resilience
Natural habitat both at home and around the world are facing both natural and manmade threats. Coastal evnironments can degrade from natural disasters, while there is an increased focus on remaining sustainable.
Eco-Friendly Energy Intitatives
Cutting-edge technology at the Aquarium ensures we're doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint.
Events like World Oceans Day and Party for the Planet encourage others to do their part to save the seas!
Coastal Resilience Grants
Living right along the coast ourselves, we're helping spearhead studies with teachers and students across the state of Texas on coastal resilience.
We've been nominated as BEST AQUARIUM in the 2021 USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards!