2016 Recap: Conservation Wins, Cont’d

It’s part two of our Conservation Wins series! Here are some of our favorite conservation stories from 2016:

Published December 27, 2016

Renewed Focus on Baltimore’s Waterfront

This year, the citizens of Baltimore helped to fund a second water wheel to help remove litter and debris from the harbor. This innovative project leverages natural resources (sunlight and water) to power a large, covered wheel!
Photo courtesy of Waterfront Partnership

Since its installation in 2014, the first trash wheel has collected over 1.05 million pounds of garbage and debris (and made a lot of friends on Twitter). We’re excited to welcome a second wheel to the harbor!

In addition to supporting this project and continuing our collaborative work with the Healthy Harbor team, the Aquarium announced its own model urban waterfront plan this year. Learn more about our plan to create a welcoming and engaging green space between our piers here. 

California Ditches Plastic Bags 

In November, California became the first state in the nation to ban plastic carryout bags. This is a huge win for the conservation of our planet! In addition to spending years in landfills or the ocean without breaking down, plastic bags, microbeads and other types of small plastic trash are often ingested by animals. In fact, scientists estimate up to 90 percent of seabirds have some sort of plastic in their stomachs.

Image via Flickr

If nothing is done to address this issue, researchers predict there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

The reality of that fact is overwhelming, but the news out of California and the thousands of you from across the country that pledged to ditch the plastic bags altogether as part of this year’s 48 Days of Blue program give us hope! Together, we are proving that small changes can make a big difference in the health of our blue planet.

The National Park Service Turned 100! 

This year marked the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). Established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, the NPS’s purpose is to conserve the country’s numerous natural and historic treasures for future generations to enjoy.

In the last 100 years, the National Park system has protected more than 84 million acres of land and welcomed over 300 million visitors.

Learn more about our favorite coastal parks here.

Stay tuned for more of our favorite stories from 2016!

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Featured Stories

Jellies in petri dish Welcome to the Jelly Jungle

Deep inside the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) building, the National Aquarium runs a little-known lab. Here we carry out the propagation of jellies, many of which later end up on exhibit in Jellies Invasion. Read on for a peek into the process!

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Cold stunned turtle Cold Stunning: Where, How and Why?

Picture this: You’ve just spent a wonderful, late summer week on Cape Cod, swimming in the ocean and enjoying the sunshine with friends and family. As fall sets in, you know it’s time to head home. You get on the highway, but something strange happens … despite driving for hours, you end up back where you started. You feel sluggish, confused and exhausted. If you were a turtle, you just might be cold-stunned.

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