As two mission-based organizations, ZooTampa at Lowry Park and The Florida Aquarium are dedicated to animal care and conservation throughout the year. Additionally, Earth Day on April 22 allows both of these Tampa attractions to highlight their efforts as well as inspire their guests (from near and far) to join in the appreciation and celebration of the fantastic planet that we all consider “home.” Read on to see how Tampa’s ZooQuarium Celebrates Earth Day
The Florida Aquarium Welcomes New Residents and Invites Guests to Be Responsible Environmental Stewards
As Florida gears up for Earth Day and springtime, you can ride the wave of excitement at The Florida Aquarium! While it is big on safety with strict COVID-19 safety precautions and capacity limits still in place, it’s also big on fun! Enjoy the Aquarium’s Splash Pad, Wild Dolphin Cruise, 4 Ducks 4D Theater, and, of course, 9,000 animal residents.
During your next visit, stop by the Waves of Wonder Gallery, where you’ll find a new giant Pacific octopus. Often found suctioned to the front of her habitat, Farallon, named after the Farallon Islands off the coast of their native San Francisco, is a juvenile octopus. With the potential to grow up to a hundred pounds, she feeds on sardines and squid. Known to be a very intelligent species, Farallon will be given a variety of enrichment activities including puzzles to stimulate her inquisitive mind.
Also, new to the Aquarium Ambassador Team is Apaporis, a southern two-toed sloth named for a river in its native Colombia. Apaporis will be joining our other species, ambassadors, for regular visits on the guest pathway. #DYK a sloth’s hair grows in quite an interesting fashion due to their inverted lifestyle. Hair on their faces grows upwards so water will fall easily away from their faces. Their hair is also known to collect and grow algae to allow the species to camouflage from predators.
While Florida Aquarium tries to celebrate Earth Day every day at the Aquarium, they encourage you to do something every day to help keep the blue planet clean and healthy for animals like Farallon and Apaporis. Whether on land or at sea, small changes can make a big impact on the natural environment.
Recently The Florida Aquarium experienced a record-breaking day at our Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center. The team of animal care professionals admitted 17 sea turtles in need of critical care as a result of a large cold-stun event on the east coast of Florida. It was the single largest admission of sea turtles to The Florida Aquarium. This comes amid this year’s higher than normal numbers of cold stun sea turtles washing up on the Florida coast; further reinforcing the need to protect the natural environment and the species that call it home!
In addition to sea turtle conservation as part of our commitment to animal health, welfare, and sustainable populations, Florida Aquarium is also committed to habitat restoration and the reduction of single-use plastics.
And, while it’s a focus every day, Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity for The Florida Aquarium not only to focus on conservation priorities – like sea turtle conservation – but also to enhance public engagement in these important priorities in the fulfillment of its mission.
And, their friends, followers, and guests can help – in a BIG way! Because – together all the small steps become a giant leap.
The Florida Aquarium’s Environmental Stewardship Activities during the week of Earth Day include:
• Saturday, April 17: Great American Clean-up – Scenic View Drive, Skyway Fishing Pier
• Thursday, April 22: Great Port Clean-up for Earth Day – Channelside Drive and Port Areas
• Saturday, April 24: Habitat Restoration and Clean-up – Picnic Island
You too can engage in healthy habitats! Celebrate Earth Day and keep the blue planet in mind every day by reducing your use of single-use plastics, recycle and pick up trash at your local beach to keep oceans cleaner. Learn more about healthy habits from Zoo Tampa!
Join ZooTampa in Committing to Conservation this Earth Day
Conservation is the cornerstone of ZooTampa at Lowry Park’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and care for vulnerable species from Florida and throughout the world. With more than 1,000 animals in our care on our 56-acre campus, we are dedicated to educating upwards of 1 million visitors annually about the actions they can take to protect our planet and all life on it. This April 22, we invite you to join us in making the world we all share a better place. Commit to making small changes from reducing your reliance on single-use plastic bags and bottles to making sustainable choices when shopping for seafood and other products, you and your family can join us in making a difference this April and all year long.
Walk, Bike, and Carpool More. Human activities like driving contribute to air pollution that fuels dangerous climate change. This Earth Day commit to walking (or biking) more, using public transportation or carpooling if you must travel further, and driving your personal vehicle less often. Try the transit app (transitapp.com) to simplify your transportation decisions and find the most environmentally friendly way to get where you need to go.
Recycle Whatever You Can. At ZooTampa, we recycle everything from animal waste and foliage trimmings to ink cartridges and fluorescent bulbs. If you’re not already recycling at home, Earth Day is a great time to get started. Recycling glass, aluminum cans, and some plastics are usually pretty simple, and tampabayrecycles.org has tips to help you ensure you’re doing so correctly.
Reduce Your Reliance on Single-Use Plastics. Plastic bags, water bottles, drinking straws, and food packaging are often thrown away after a single use and can find their way into rivers, lakes, and the ocean if they don’t end up in a landfill. This Earth Day commit to reducing your use of these items and reusing what you can’t easily recycle. Small changes like bringing a reusable cup to the coffee shop, switching to reusable aluminum straws, and bagging your groceries in reusable cloth bags are all effective ways to reduce your plastic footprint.
Buy Sustainable Seafood. Overfishing creates ecological imbalances that threaten the survival of marine ecosystems. ZooTampa is a partner in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program that helps consumers choose sustainably harvested seafood at grocery stores and restaurants. You can download their mobile app at seafoodwatch.org.
Only Purchase Sustainable Palm Oil Products. An edible vegetable oil found in products ranging from soaps and cosmetics to chocolate and ice cream, palm oil is used in about half of all packaged goods sold in U.S. grocery stores. Unfortunately, the commercial farming of palm oil trees is often responsible for the destruction of habitat essential to the survival of endangered species like ZooTampa’s Bornean orangutans. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers a free app on their website (cmzoo.org) to help you identify sustainable products when shopping.
Adopt Your Favorite ZooTampa Resident. ZooTampa’s Share the Care adoption program is another way to support our organization’s vital conservation mission. From flamingos and penguins to otters, manatees, panthers, and tigers, every ZooTampa resident is available for symbolic adoption. Starting at $25, adoption packages include a digital certificate and animal photo suitable for gift-giving.
Make a ZooTampa Donation. As a non-profit organization that is 98% self-funded, ZooTampa depends on membership, ticket, and merchandise sales as well as donations in order to continue our wildlife conservation efforts. Even a small contribution can make a big impact.
At ZooTampa, conservation is at the heart of everything that we do. This passion and commitment start with the connections we make with people and wildlife every day. We understand that protecting our wildlife is a responsibility we all share. Join us this Earth Day and become a conservation leader in your home and community.
ZooQuarium Is Your 1 Pass to 2 Adventures
There you have it. The exciting ways the ZooQuarium celebrates Earth Day. When you’re ready to visit Tampa, Florida, come experience our wilder side by purchasing ZooQuarium tickets. See the amazing animals who reside at ZooTampa at Lowry Park and The Florida Aquarium. Plus, discover how the price of your admission helps to support a variety of animal care and conservation efforts throughout the year!