There are many ways you can help protect the marine environment, and help the Aquarium in responding to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles:
Enjoy the marine animals – from a distance
For their protection and yours, it’s against the law to approach whales and dolphinsGive seals and sea turtles a wide berth, and don’t try to follow, touch, feed or catch them. If a marine animal seems to be in distress (tangled, diseased or stranded on the beach), call the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team at (757) 385-7575.
Eat seafood – sensibly
The Aquarium’s Sensible Seafood program can help you make wise decisions about enjoying your seafood and protecting the environment at the same time.
Let go of helium balloonsWhen they float away, they often end up in the ocean and get mistaken for jellyfish by hungry sea turtles. These indigestible products eventually kill the turtles. Be sure to “pop it and trash it,” or consider bubbles, fresh or paper flowers and other reusable or recyclable decorations to add a festive touch.
Scoop the PoopWe love dogs, but their waste gets washed into the bay. This contributes to the growth of algae, which uses up oxygen and nutrients needed by other plants and animals, including crabs, oysters, grasses and fish. Take a bag every time you walk Fido, and deposit it in a trash container. (Most of it will be incinerated in an environmentally-safe way).
Recycle Separating your plastic, paper and glass not only keeps harmful items out of the water, but means less waste in local landfills. The result: more and safer habitat area for the animals (and humans) in Virginia’s watershed.
Check that bilge! If you’re a boater, make sure your boat’s head is in good working order and that you’re pumping waste tanks in accordance with Virginia law. Learn more about Boat Safety.