World Oceans Day is a great day for the public to visit their local aquarium to learn about and celebrate the incredible marine life in our oceans. Make your aquarium celebration special this year with these 5 new ideas:
1. Get Creative and Competitive!
It’s always fun to incorporate art and crafts into aquarium celebrations. Add a twist this World Oceans Day and make it a competition. Last year, Mystic Aquarium held a contest for the best marine life decorated stroller, and participants could win a brand new stroller as the grand prize. S.E.A. Aquarium organized a nationwide Recycling Art Competition for primary and secondary school students. The sculptures were created using only recycled materials, increasing awareness of recycling and sustainability in a fun and interactive way.
2. Go Live
Expand your reach this World Oceans Day by taking your celebration online. Utilize your social media channels to engage people through “live” videos on Facebook and Instagram. Show your World Oceans Day celebration or offer a special behind the scenes look at the aquarium for World Oceans Day. Interact with viewers by asking questions and responding to their comments. Last year, Georgia Aquarium shared a live video of their Tropical Pacific Reef exhibit with hundreds of viewers to celebrate World Oceans Day. Make sure you tag #WorldOceansDay and follow World Oceans Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
3. Get Outside the Aquarium
Besides having an awesome celebration onsite, move beyond the aquarium and host a local cleanup in your community. Aquarium of the Bay invited volunteers to participate in a beach cleanup and gave participants free tickets to the aquarium after cleanup completion. The Grand Aquarium de Saint Malo hosted workshops for children and a cleanup on their local beach. Cleanups are a great way to engage with the local community outside of the aquarium.
4. Make a Commitment to Our Oceans
Make a change at your institution that will positively impact our oceans, and teach your guests how to live more sustainably too. There are so many ways your organization can set an example for guests. Texas State Aquarium stopped selling plastic water bottles in 2016 and started selling boxed water instead. See here for 10 ways your zoo or aquarium can reduce plastic use.
5. Keep the Celebration Going
Why restrict your World Oceans Day celebration to one day? Host multiple events throughout the week to engage your visitors. Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters celebrated all week last year with an art display, ocean games, raffles and giveaways. World Oceans Day falls on a Thursday this year, but make sure you take advantage of the weekends before and after June 8 to celebrate.
When you’re ready, submit your event to the world map. Stay tuned for new free resources and a social media campaign that will make your event even better this year. Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates.