At the start of this year, the Blackfish documentary raised many concerns about the ethical concerns of keeping killer whales in captivity. While theme parks like SeaWorld argue the so-called “display industry” is necessary for teaching people about marine life, others believe whales should always be allowed to roam free and that interested persons can get educated in other ways.
No matter which side you’re on in terms of the captivity debate, there are certainly more charitable ways to see wild animals up close than spending the day at a glitzy Florida theme park.
The Birch Aquarium is part of the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. It sits on top of a bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is home to marine creatures throughout North America. Every year, the aquarium teaches over 40,000 children through ocean sciences programs, and any visitor can explore the facility’s five-dozen interactive exhibits.
One of their current exhibits include Boundless Energy, which explores ways we can harness power from the wind, sun and waves. The Birch Aquarium’s mission is to educate and promote conservation and using boundless energy can help keep our world clean.
Help the aquarium even more by purchasing the Birch Aquarium package (Something Fishy) at Hotel La Jolla. Five percent of the room rate will be given to the aquarium’s outreach efforts.
Staff members believe that marine life conservation will occur through a combination of education and research, because when people have a more thorough understanding of the ocean, they’ll feel more compelled to protect it. The aquarium is a non-profit organization, and you can make donations to support its efforts in person or online.