These are unprecedented times with the current outbreak of COVID-19 across our nation and the world. As we all prepare for a new reality in the coming months, public zoos, aquariums, and museums need your help. Tens of thousands of U.S. cultural institutions have temporarily closed to the public in order to aid in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing.
Please join us in asking Congress to support public aquariums, zoos, and museums across the country with vital federal funding.
At the bottom of this page, you’ll be able to write to Congress through a fill-in form and use your voice as they prepare economic relief for so many Americans. For a direct link please click here: Emergency Relief for Public Aquariums, Zoos and Museums
Many of these organizations have been the scene of important moments in many guests’ lives. From life-altering field trips and educational moments, engagement proposals, or a respite from challenging times, we want to continue those and so much more for years to come.
So why should you help? Without zoos and aquariums, some of our understanding of aquatic life may never have been fulfilled:
- Georgia Aquarium was the first to fully map the shark DNA genome using blood drawn from whale sharks at the Aquarium. This multi-year project helps scientists understand shark immunity and how that translates to human health.
- Alongside research partners and other zoos and aquariums, Georgia Aquarium researchers discovered a powerful link between ocean health and human health through our Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) project. This project studied more than 350 bottlenose dolphins in Florida and South Carolina to ascertain their health. What they found was dolphins in the ocean are not as healthy as dolphins living in zoos and aquariums. This finding led to the understanding of anti-biotic resistance and other health concerns affecting these dolphins, the ocean, and ultimately the humans residing near them.
- We’ve traveled the globe to find answers to so many questions about our ocean. Georgia Aquarium researchers and global partners performed the first health assessments on whale sharks in Indonesia which tells us about health impacts, diet, and migratory patterns.
- Zoos and aquariums take the plastic pollution crisis seriously. Georgia Aquarium has dedicated research projects to understanding how plastics and microplastics impact the health of whale sharks, sharks, rays, and the overall health of our ocean. Through biological sampling and monitoring, the goal is to better understand what animals are ingesting and how we can help.
Georgia Aquarium and other zoos and aquariums’ collaborative research and conservation efforts will continue with your help. As a nonprofit organization, a portion of proceeds from ticket and event sales help us fund this critical research and open the doors to more scientific breakthroughs. Through the potential government-aided assistance, zoos and aquariums will be able to once again open their doors and continue their educational outreach, research, and keep their teams employed. That includes administrative staff, researchers, biologists, docents, ticket sales, educators, and so many others that help zoos and aquariums operate every day and continue our mission to inspire awareness and preservation of aquatic species worldwide.