The company makes its first public commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal # 14 (SDG) of the United Nations Organization (UN), focused on the conservation of the oceans.
During the month of the 30th anniversary of World Oceans Day, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment makes its first public commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal # 14 (SDG) of the United Nations Organization (UN), focused on the conservation of the oceans.
With its nearly 60-year history of taking action to protect marine animals and their habitats, SeaWorld has made significant contributions to help ensure the long-term health and sustainability of marine life. In relation to SDG 14, SeaWorld is committed to continuing to make significant contributions, such as aquaculture programs that reintroduce healthy fish populations to restore coral reef systems, contributing to cleaner and healthier waterways.
“SeaWorld está defendiendo la salud y la sostenibilidad de los océanos hace décadas por medio del rescate de animales en situación de peligro, investigaciones marinas avanzadas que se han hecho posibles por el estudio de animales bajo nuestro cuidado, y por medio del financiamiento de programas beneficiados por nuestro fondo de conservación”, expresó el Dr. Chris Dold, Director Zoológico de SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. “Estamos orgullosos de estar al lado de organizaciones que promueven la defensa marina y líderes globales al prometer nuestro apoyo y acción continua a favor del ODS 14 de la Naciones Unidas, protegiendo los hábitats y animales marinos.”
SDG 14 aims to promote the conservation and sustainable development of the oceans, seas and marine resources. SeaWorld will ensure that its conservation, research and animal rescue, as well as sustainability efforts at the park, also support goals associated with SDG 14, including:
• 14.1 – Prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all types, including debris and nutrient pollution.
• 14.2 – Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid adverse impacts, including strengthening their resilience and acting for their restoration.
• 14.5 – Conserve at least 10% of the coastal and marine areas, in accordance with national and international legislation and based on the best available scientific information.
Sustainable fish stocks
Thriving oceans demand healthy and abundant food sources to support marine life. Today, entire species of fish are disappearing from the oceans, as well as the abundant population levels needed to support some of the largest animals in the seas, such as whales, dolphins, walruses, seals and others.
As fish populations decline and disappear, large mammals are pushed out of their habitats to live in new areas or face starvation. Some of the ways that SeaWorld contributes in this sector are:
• SeaWorld works with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to increase the quantity of Chinook salmon, the main food for the population of southern resident killer whales, and thus improve the quality of habitat for these animals. SeaWorld is the lead sponsor for this action and for the establishment of the Orca Research and Conservation Program.
• SeaWorld is part of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), which is a leading advocate of aquaculture – a type of fisheries replenishment where farmed fish are released to grow in the wild and help restore ocean populations. . HSWRI scientists work in a wide variety of disciplines (nutrition, health, genetics) and collaborate with fishing communities, resource managers and academia to ensure that this work is done to the highest environmental standard.
Restoration of coral reef systems Coral
reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on our planet. Globally, they support more species per unit area than any other marine environment, including nearly 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of coral, and many others.
Coral reef structures also protect coastlines against 97% of wave energy, storm surges and flooding, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage and erosion. But many of the ocean’s reef systems have problems. Today, Florida’s coral reefs are 90% infected with a disease that represents a 100% mortality rate for susceptible coral species.
Los acuaristas de SeaWorld operan el Florida Coral Rescue Center (FCRC), una instalación de última generación enfocada en el banco de genes y cuidado de corales de la Florida. Hogar de 18 especies distintas de corales y más de 700 corales individuales, FCRC suministra un ambiente seguro y estable para que las colonias reciban cuidados de un equipo de especialistas, desempeñando un papel significativo en la futura restauración de los arrecifes de coral de la Florida.
“As work continues to better understand and control this disease, we made the difficult decision to remove healthy corals from the wild and place them in facilities like FCRC to prevent them from being infected, preserve genetic diversity, and propagate them for restoration,” said Gil. McRae, director of the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “The offspring spawned by rescued corals will be essential to the restoration of Florida’s reefs.”
In addition to this, SeaWorld Conservation Fund, the company’s conservation fund, offered financial grants for other programs related to coral conservation around the world, including:
- Project Coral (Europe)
- Global Coral Restoration Project
- Citizen Science – Coral Restoration Foundation
- Coral Reef Conservation (Mexico)
Contributing to Cleaner, Healthier Waterways
SeaWorld champions the health of the oceans through actions taken at its parks and support of third-party programs to protect marine habitats in our communities.
In 2018, SeaWorld became the first theme park to eliminate all disposable straws and plastic bags. In addition to this, it was the first zoological facility in the United States to design a wetland system to naturally enhance the lives of sea turtles. Mimicking the natural function of the coastal wetland, the system biologically removes excess nitrogen from the water, eliminating the need to do so chemically.
Outside of the parks, the SeaWorld Conservation Fund supports the improvement of marine habitats, funding programs such as:
- Florida Audubon Project (to replenish more than 25 million liters of water in the Western Everglades, located at the Audubon Sanctuary in Naples, Florida)
- Living Lands and Waters (focused on removing aquatic debris from major rivers in the United States)
- Texas beach cleanup projects, including Texas Adopt a Beach Cleanups and Galveston Bay Beach Cleanups.
- Projects in Tampa Bay, including Great Bay Scallop Search (research on scallops in the wild) and Tampa Bay Watch (beach and ocean cleanup)
- EarthCorps (removing toxic debris from sea waters)
- Bioengineering projects for the development of plastic-degrading microbes in order to eliminate this waste from the oceans.
“Our work to help clean up Tampa Bay’s beaches, removing marine debris and rebuilding critical habitats, would not be possible without the help of donations from our partners like the SeaWorld Conservation Fund,” said Peter Clark, president and founder of Tampa. Baywatch. “We have been supported by SeaWorld on this project since 2013 and appreciate their ability to help fund our efforts to engage community volunteers and remove large amounts of trash that puts the lives of fish, birds and many other animals at risk. “