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Conservation policy & advocacy campaign growing a stronger constituency for our ocean

by The Ocean Project 23 Sep 2018 05:18 UTC
Conservation policy and advocacy campaign growing a stronger constituency for our ocean amongst zoos and aquariums © The Ocean Project

A year ago, The Ocean Project launched a new policy-focused initiative to promote science-based federal fisheries policy and healthy, sustainable marine ecosystems. This initiative - funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation - focuses on supporting more zoos, aquariums, and museums (ZAMs) to get involved in conservation policy and advocacy. We provide opportunities for ZAMs – both individually and collectively – to engage in a variety of ways, especially focusing on reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), which is the United States' primary law for federal fisheries management.

Collaborating with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, and other key partners, this past year we worked to inform and involve more ZAMs across the U.S. about ways they can help. Several dozen ZAMs signed on to letters to both the House and the Senate regarding the Magnuson-Stevens Act and communicating directly with their elected officials. We've also been conducting training sessions and webinars for ZAM staff. Click to view/listen to the recorded Making Conservation Happen Brown Bag Webinar Series and sign up for future webinars.

Also as part of this initiative, we're developing other ways to support ZAM staff to engage and communicate the importance of ocean conservation and healthy fisheries with visitors, supporters, and the public. For instance, this spring we worked closely with Mystic Aquarium, Seattle Aquarium, and the Texas State Aquarium on visitor engagement pilot projects that underscored that the visiting public expects, trusts, and appreciates information about how they can join in advancing ocean conservation. Based on the impressive results, our plan is to take this project to scale starting later this year. If you'd like to get involved, let us know!

Learn more about the exciting pilot project results that explored three different ways to engage ZAM visitors.

Review the pilot's recommended recipe for success that other ZAMs are already implementing for effective visitor engagement on a variety of issues.

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