This year is the 10th anniversary of Clean Beaches Week! To celebrate Clean Beaches Week, here are four of aquariums part of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP).

Clean Beaches Week is from July 1-7.
Clean Beaches Week is from July 1-7.
Photo By: Sarah R. Peets

Happy 10-Year Anniversary Clean Beaches Week! What a milestone! From July 1st to 7th, we all celebrate Clean Beaches Week by picking up litter, bringing awareness, and-my personal favorite-visiting aquariums! Don’t forget, it’s important to make sure you’re visiting accredited aquariums that are part of conservation initiatives.

The Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) is a group of aquariums whose foremost goal is to decrease our impact on the oceans. We can all do our part, and these aquariums will teach you how. ACP focuses on reducing plastic pollution, increasing protection on water ecosystems, and improves sustainability. All of these aquariums below are a part of the ACP and deserve your love and attention.

Monterey Bay Aquarium and Conservation

Sea otters are a local treasure in Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Sea otters are a local treasure in Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Photo By: Sarah R. Peets

Monterey Bay Aquarium in California was on my bucket list and when I had the chance to go there, I drove two hours just to visit. I would visit it again if I could. Not only do they have over 550 species in their exhibits, they also have several education programs for children and adults alike. I remember watching the otters play on the beaches outside! What puts this aquarium at the top of the list is their conservation programs.

Not only have they been working hard to cut down single-use plastic in their aquarium, they have also worked to push legislation for the rest of California to adopt the same. They ask you to cut back on single-use plastic and recycle properly. Check your local government on how to clean and prepare your plastic for recycling.

Mystic Aquarium and Conservation

Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut is home to one of the largest aquarium enclosures for Beluga whales. This aquarium’s focus is on conservation and education. With interactive exhibits for all ages and an animatronic dinosaur exhibit for children, this aquarium has an extensive array of experiences. Ask the trainers about the penguins and the beaches at this aquarium.

Mystic Aquarium has Ocean Ambassadors that focus on volunteering, restoration projects, conservation projects, and cleaning ocean debris. One of their many tasks is cleaning beaches. Mystic itself is home to whales and the occasional manatee. They have transformed their town into a whaling town, to a conservation town!

Tennessee Aquarium and Conservation

Jellyfish seen in the Tennessee Aquarium are an indicator species, which is one of the many reasons I love them.
Jellyfish seen in the Tennessee Aquarium are an indicator species, which is one of the many reasons I love them.
Photo By: Jana Pivonka

The Tennessee Aquarium is in Chattanooga, TN and is composed of two buildings. Of this list, this is the only aquarium I have been to twice. Of all the aquariums in the world, the Tennessee Aquarium has the best floor plan. You start off by going to the top of the aquarium and winding down through hundreds of exhibits of local fish and animals. Each transitionary pathway in the aquarium is through the other side of the previous exhibit. The second building, though smaller, has a similar layout but with international species in their aquarium.

Every day, we impact water, and water impacts us.

The Tennessee Aquarium Project Freshwater

Tennessee is home to over half of the fish species that exist in the freshwaters of the United States. This aquarium’s work not only boosts the local economy, but develops outreach programs to educators and students alike. TN Aquarium works to keep the local freshwater beaches clean. They encourage good green practices and support discontinuing single-use plastics!

Texas State Aquarium and Conservation

Of all the aquariums on this list, the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, TX is the only one I have not attended. It is on this list for a reason. This Aquarium offers 17 exhibits with an array of animals and fish to observe. TX Aquarium interactive programs let you get up-close and personal with the animals.

As a global leader fostering support in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea conservation work, this aquarium encourages sustainable practices for their beaches. From eco-friendly initiatives, single-use plastic restrictions, and pushing to have more recyclable stations, Texas State Aquarium looks to preserve wildlife on a global scale. Check out TX Aquarium’s Adopt-A-Beach program to see how you can help more!

We all affect the sea, and that is something it reminds us of every day. We get our food, our electric, our weather, and pleasure from the sea and beaches. Conservation starts with us. Keep your beaches clean and leave no trace behind when you go out to enjoy the sun!

How do you plan to observe Clean Beach Week? Do you clean up your beaches? Do you find conservation work interesting? What other Aquariums should be on this list? Let us know in the comments down below!

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