Mon March 29, 2010
Aquarium Advocates Action on Climate Change
By Krista Almanzan
Monterey, CA – For the first time in a decade the Monterey Bay Aquarium is opening an exhibit that focuses on an issue rather than animals of the ocean. "Hot Pink Flamingos: Stories of Hope in a Changing Sea" puts the spotlight on climate change. "We thought it was really, really important to take on this issue of climate change and the impact on the ocean because it's really an untold story. Most people have heard about climate change and I think most people believe that it's happening. But the majority of people don't' realize that it's having such an impact on our oceans," said Cynthia Vernon, Vice President of Programs at the Aquarium. Vernon said she understands visitors don't necessarily want to be hit with a really hard topic, but when a hard topic comes along the Aquarium is not afraid to address it. Back in 2000, the Aquarium opened its issue focused Fishing for Solutions exhibit, which eventually led to the creation of the Aquarium's Seafood Watch Guides.
Climate Change can be a touchy subject given how it's been politicized and some people just don't believe its happening. Senior Exhibition Developer Jenny-Sayre Ramberg said the exhibition is based on science, and it has room for other opinions. Throughout the exhibit visitors will be asked to share their thoughts and comments on climate change. They'll also be asked to take action by either contacting their elected officials or committing to small changes like buying local produce or biking to work. "We have a window of opportunity the scientists feel like this ten year period is an important window of opportunity to slow climate change. So it feels very important in this exhibit to share ways to get involved," said Ramberg. The Aquarium itself is also working on ways to reduce its own carbon footprint by upgrading energy efficient equipment throughout the aquarium. The exhibit opens to the public on Monday, March 29th.