“SeaWorld has been a global leader in animal rescue, conservation and research for more than 50 years, while WILDCOAST has been conserving coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife for nearly two decades,” said Marilyn Hannes, president of SeaWorld San Diego. “Together we can make a difference in helping even more people understand why we must protect our oceans.”
The new partnership will focus on Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, of which there are more than 540,000 acres in California.
“California MPAs protect San Diego’s incredible coastal and ocean wilderness areas,” said Zachary Plopper, conservation director of WILDCOAST. “This partnership with SeaWorld provides new opportunities to build coastal and marine stewardship in the region and protect our underwater parks for generations to come.”
SeaWorld’s support will help more than 200 students take part in WILDCOAST’s Explore My MPA project, in which they learn about MPAs in the classroom and field, learn to be citizen scientists, and carry out ocean monitoring activities.
The theme park also is leveraging interest in its new roller coaster, the Electric Eel, to significantly increase awareness of MPAs. Signage that highlights San Diego County’s MPAs will be installed at the attraction for millions of park guests to see every year.
In addition, SeaWorld pass members will be specifically invited to participate in the “MPA Watch” training to become citizen scientists.
WILCOAST, whose co-founder and executive director is Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina, was created as a community-based organization committed to conserving and sustaining coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife.
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