The Aquarium of the Pacific was the first among museums, zoos, and aquariums in the nation to register its greenhouse gases and is a leader in green practices…including our LEED® Platinum Savor watershed classroom and carbon-neutral Molina Animal Care Center. As we continue to expand, our commitment to grow without increasing our carbon footprint remains.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
The Aquarium of the Pacific has successfully certified its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory with the The Climate Registry and was the first among museums, zoos, and aquariums in the United States to earn the status of a Climate Action Leader™. By joining the Registry, the Aquarium of the Pacific demonstrates their concern regarding global climate change by measuring, certifying, and voluntarily reporting their GHG emissions to the Registry and to the public.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is proud to have received the Super Nova award from the Alliance to Save Energy for its investment in energy and climate conservation practices, serving as a leader in educating the community about sustainable activities, and embracing energy efficient technologies.
Carbon Neutral Exhibits
The Our Watersheds exhibit is surrounded by native plants found along the coastal areas of the San Pedro Bay watersheds. The classroom features a living roof with coastal shrubs and grasses. This new building is LEED® Platinum certified—the highest rating from the United States Green Business Council for green design and construction. In addition to being a fully functioning carbon-neutral classroom, this building serves as an example of alternative energy use, sustainable design, and water conservation and reuse. The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, the Institution for Museum and Library Services, the California Coastal Conservancy, Metropolitan Water Department, Long Beach Water Department, Los Angeles County, and the American Chemistry Council supported this project demonstrating the need to conserve and reuse water.
The Molina Animal Care Center includes a 1,800 square feet state-of-the-art building that is carbon-neutral, powered by solar energy. The Ocean Science Center, designed and built to LEED Gold standards, is converted an outdoor plaza into a new gallery while reusing existing walls, slab, foundation, and systems.
Solar Energy at the Aquarium
Solar panels have been installed at three locations at the Aquarium: the Our Watersheds: Pathway to the Pacific exhibit, the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, and Molina Animal Care Center. The solar panels at Our Watersheds were installed with the exhibit, which opened in 2008. Solar panels for the animal hospital were installed in 2010. Two other smaller solar panel arrays were installed by American Honda Motor Co. in 2012 and represent Honda’s first demonstration of its thin-film solar technology in the U.S.
Low-Water Native Garden
The 4,700 square-foot Earth-Friendly Garden was installed at the border of the Aquarium’s front lawn in 2010. Illustrating part of the solution to Southern California’s ongoing water shortage, the garden features California native and drought-resistant plants, as well as a water-efficient drip irrigation system. A weather-based irrigation system was installed for the remaining lawn. Replacing some of the lawn with native plants and efficient irrigation saved 550,000 gallons of water in 2010. Grant funding from the United States Bureau of Reclamation supported the garden installation.
Doing Our Part
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s Green Team is made up of staff members (both paid and volunteer) who share a passion to conserve our environment. Our mission is to practice and promote the conservation of resources and materials in our working environment by educating and encouraging staff to perform eco-friendly practices on a regular basis and partnering with the Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewards to restore a local wetland in Long Beach. More Aquarium employees are partnering with MBA students from California State University, Long Beach to implement an environmental management system (ISO14001).
Our divers use Xcel wetsuits that are bamboo infused and made from recycled materials.