As the largest Aquarium in the United States and a worldwide leader in aquatic research and conservation, Georgia Aquarium has always been extremely invested in the health of our world oceans. From rising global temperatures to the extinction of vital species, the consequences of wasteful and unsustainable habits can be devastating unless we come together now to take a stand.
Georgia Aquarium celebrates many conservation awareness days onsite including Earth Day, Coral Awareness Week, and African Penguin Awareness Day. In order to make a more lasting impact for World Oceans Day, this year, we hosted our inaugural Georgia Aquarium 5k: Turtle Trot, which raised over $50,000 for aquatic research and conservation!
On June 2nd, just days before World Oceans Day was officially celebrated worldwide, over 1100 runners gathered in front of Georgia Aquarium’s main entrance to kick off the 5k run through downtown Atlanta. Joe Handy, Georgia Aquarium’s President and COO, began by thanking all the participants for their contribution to our research and conservations efforts. This past year alone, Georgia Aquarium team members have travelled to the Florida Keys to aid in coral spawning, Seward, Alaska to help rehabilitate a baby beluga whale, Cendrawasih Bay, Indonesia, to perform the first ever whale shark health assessments, and more. As additional data is collected each year, a clearer image of our ocean’s and Earth’s health is revealed.
After the race, runners were invited to browse our vendor village, which was comprised of community partners who support our mission. Georgia Aquarium hosted its own booth, staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who were eager to discuss all things ocean and animals with the runners. Guests lined up to spin the Georgia Aquarium trivia wheel, where they could answer a question about an aquatic species for a fun Georgia Aquarium giveaway. At the close of the event, race winners won an animal interaction with one of Georgia Aquarium’s aquatic species.
Georgia Aquarium believes that by inspiring a love of animals and our ocean in children at a young age, whether it’s through a simple trivia game or meeting a penguin up close and personal, the next generation will grow up to be natural stewards of all our world ocean. Every person who chose to run the Turtle Trot 5k also chose to make a difference in our ocean’s future. The Atlanta community’s overwhelming support of our mission inspires us to continue our efforts for a healthier Earth every day. We can’t wait for next year!
Photos: Georgia Aquarium