Because our mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans, we believe it's imperative that the Monterey Bay Aquarium communicate with our visitors and other audiences about the impacts of climate change on ocean health. There is compelling scientific evidence that climate change is occurring; that human activities are accelerating those changes; and that the ocean is being dramatically affected in ways that threaten the survival of ocean ecosystems and human societies.
There is an urgent need to address these issues, because of the unprecedented ecosystem changes taking place already, and the fact that – if left unchecked – these changes could trigger large-scale changes in the future. We believe the sooner society acts, the greater our ability to mitigate the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
- Play Your Part opened June 2012, this exhibit looks at solutions to climate change and actions Monterey Bay Aquarium visitors can take to help reduce their personal carbon footprint and work as communities to mitigate climate change.
- Supporting—and encouraging our audiences to support—government policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts affecting our oceans.
- Stepping up our actions to reduce the impacts of climate change on ocean health by:
- Examining our carbon footprint and implementing a plan to reduce our carbon emissions
- Promoting scientific research to better understand the impacts of climate change on oceans and develop effective solutions
- Working in partnership with other scientific and conservation organizations to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on the oceans
- Training volunteer Guides and Teen Conservation Leaders to interpret climate change at Aquarium exhibits, ongoing
- Hosted the first Communicating Climate Change Summit, December 2008
- Assisted in planning and attended the second Summit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, April 2012
- Partnered in the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) OCEAN Project, 2008-2011
- Developed and presented the climate change exhibition “Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea,” March 2009 to September 2011
- With funding from NOAA, implemented “Climate Change and the Ocean: Awareness to Action” in which we:
Developed and launched “Whales to Windmills: Inventions Inspired by the Sea,” a 15-minute auditorium
program about energy efficiency and climate change, 2009; winner of the Best Cultural Institution Media
Installation Award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, 2011
- Developed and launched “Enough Stuff” and “Think Big,” 12-minute musical theater pieces about resource conservation, energy efficiency and climate change, 2009 and 2010
- Launched “Change for the Oceans,” an animated short on animal and human adaptation to climate change (co-created with Free Range Studios), 2010; finalist for the Best Short Shorts Award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, 2011
- Expanded and enhanced the climate change content on our website www.montereybayaquarium.org/climate
- With funding from NOAA, and in partnership with the National Aquarium and New England Aquarium, implemented “A National Coalition of Aquariums Educating About Climate Change” and formed the Climate Interpretation Coalition, a collaboration of aquariums, marine sanctuaries, science centers, zoos and other informal learning organizations to build capacity to effectively communicate about climate change and the ocean, 2009-present
- Manage and grow the coalition website, www.climateinterpreter.org
- Produce and present webinars about communicating climate change to coalition members
- Participated in the first National Network of Ocean and Climate Change Interpreters (NNOCCI) study circle, 2011
- Participated in the Climate Literacy Zoo Education Network (CLiZEN ) national audience segmentation survey of zoo and aquarium visitors, 2011