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Learn more about global climate change, marine animals, and other ocean issues by following the links below.

The Marine Conservation Research Institute (MCRI) – Part of the Aquarium of the Pacific, MCRI connects the scientific community with the public by providing information about ocean related issues and research.

Pacific Currents - Our quarterly member magazine that covers everything from our amazing animals and Aquarium events to conservation issues and efforts here at the Aquarium.

Online Learning Center - Did you know that a four-inch banded archerfish can accurately shoot a stream of water up to five feet to catch prey above the water column? Learn more about these “living water pistols” and other amazing animals of the Pacific by visiting our Online Learning Center.

Search by topic of interest:

  • Global Climate Change - How will global climate change affect the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and you? Follow the links below to discover more about this critical and often controversial topic.
    • Climate Change and the Ocean- How will the ocean respond to warming?
  • Marine Life and Ocean Ecosystems→ Learn more about the inhabitants of our oceans and how they contribute to the valuable and vulnerable ecosystems that are critical to sustaining all life on Earth.
    • Ocean ecosystems and habitats: A Key Piece of the Maintenance of a Healthy Global Biosphere- The balance and overall health of life on Earth relies on a healthy global biosphere. The global biosphere encompasses all of Earth’s living realms, is made up of all of its ecosystems, and relies on the continual healthy functioning of those ecosystems for its ultimate well being.
    • Biodiversity: The Measure of the Health of the Biological Systems- Biodiversity can be generally defined as the variety of life on Earth. It provides humans with and endless list of vital services such as food, climate regulation, and many other ecological, evolutionary, genetic, and scientific benefits and services.
    • “It’s Turtles All the Way Down”-The second of a series of workshops on animals ranging from whales to corals, this workshop focused on the plight of turtles and the different ways the Aquarium can bring out their stories, threats, experiences, and habitats. This meeting was an outgrowth of a discussion held by the Forward Planning Committee of the Aquarium’s Board of Directors.
  • Sustainable Seafood→ Whether at your favorite seafood restaurant, watching the cooking channel, or shopping at your local grocery store, the term “sustainable seafood” is bound to pop up. What exactly does “sustainable seafood” mean? Here are a few sites and reports to help demystify this hot topic.
    • Seafood for the Future -Learn more about sustainable seafood as well as other healthy and responsible eating habits that are critical to sustaining our food systems as a whole by visiting the Aquarium’s nonprofit seafood advisory program, Seafood For the Future (seafoodforthefuture.org).
    • Is Offshore Finfish Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight an Idea Whose Time Has Come? -The per capita consumption of seafood in the greater Los Angeles area is approximately twice the national average, and the demand continues to grow as population increases and people become more aware of the health benefits of eating seafood. How will the demand for seafood be met? Is sustainable aquaculture part of the answer? Is there an opportunity for development of offshore finfish aquaculture in the Southern California Bight? Find the answers to these and more questions by exploring the results of this forum.
    • Aquaculture Siting Workshop-On July 16, 2007 the Aquarium of the Pacific organized and facilitated a day and a half workshop that brought together scientists, restaurateurs, participants from the aquaculture industry, and representatives of governmental agencies to explore siting of fish farms in state and federal waters of the Southern California Bight.
  • Water→ It’s funny to think that the substance that makes up more than 70 percent of our planet would be scarce, but it is. Only 3 percent of the Earths water supply is fresh. As populations continue to rise and global climate change continues to intensify, this minimal supply is dwindling. Learn more about this critical issue and potential solutions through the forums and reports here.
    • ”Priming the Pump” -On September 23, 2008, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Water Department convened and facilitated a forum to explore how southern California could make-up for these losses in water supply from the Delta. This is brief report is a summary of the findings and recommendations.
    • “Danger on the Delta: Is Southern California Betting Its Future on an Unstable Water System?” -The Aquarium of the Pacific sponsored a half-day conference and workshop to explore the topic, which was triggered by the publication of the book, “The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation” by Stephen Flynn. The book contains a chapter on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta entitled “Danger on the Delta”, and Flynn offered to give a public lecture on this chapter as well as to participate in the conference.
    • “Ocean Desalination” -On October 5, 2006, the Desal Response Group and the Aquarium of the Pacific co-sponsored a one-day conference on ocean desalination that brought together more than 70 experts and activists on issues related to ocean desalination. Learn more about the resulting conclusions and recommendations here.
    • “Forum on the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers’ Watersheds” -A watershed is defined as a specific land area that drains water into a river system or other body of water. The prominent cities in Southern California would not be located where they are today were it not for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and the fertile soil around its watersheds. Learn more about the history, science, and policies behind our watersheds as well as the changing relationships of humans with water by exploring the discussions of this panel, which consisted of scientists, urban planners, educators, watershed management experts, city officials, architects, exhibit and landscape designers, and Aquarium staff.
  • Urban Oceans: Pollution, Economics, and Human Interactions with the Ocean→ Whether your landlocked in Colorado or living with the ocean in your backyard, everything we do affects the oceans. Pollution from garden pesticides, oil from our cars, household cleaners, pharmaceuticals, debris, and much more ends up in the ocean at some point. Foreign species of plants and animals often get discarded or escape, becoming invasive species that compete with native inhabitants and challenge the health of our ecosystems. Find out more about these and more issues regarding humans and the oceans here.
    • Coastal Hazards: Too Many People Living Too Close to The Edge of a Rising Sea-The report explores the impacts a rising sea and associated storm surges will have on the U.S. and nations throughout the world, and on coastal living resources. It describes areas at greatest risk and offers suggestions for increasing the resilience of coastal communities.
    • Pollution and Health- Pollution in the marine environment is a complex subject and can be viewed several different ways. It can be viewed as pollution types or classes, specific pollutants or from the source-and-fate viewpoint.
    • Commerce and Economic Value - Coasts and oceans affect people in many ways. The coast provides a place to live and recreate. Oceans provide food for our growing population, a transit way for our commerce, and increasingly new sources of energy. Coasts and oceans have direct and indirect effects on our physical, emotional, and personal wellbeing. Coasts and oceans also support jobs and provide the economic foundation of many economies.
    • The Pike At Queensway Bay: A Panel Discussion - In 1992, the Disney Corporation decided not to bring the DisneySea theme park and development to the Long Beach urban waterfront. As a result, the City of Long Beach took it upon itself to make a plan to develop its under-utilized downtown shoreline.
    • Forum on Ports: Our Ports In Perspective - The Aquarium of the Pacific is developing plans for a port exhibit. The Aquarium is the only aquarium in the country, perhaps the world, that focuses on building and sustaining natural capital—nature—by building and sustaining social capital—the ties between and among people.
    • Forum on Ports II - This meeting was the second in what is planned to be a series of meetings having the end goal of creating a public exhibit and collateral programs on the Ports of San Pedro Bay at Aquarium of the Pacific. These programs and exhibits will serve to educate guests of all ages about our ports and why they are an essential component of a sustainable coastal community in the future.
    • Oceans and Public Policy→ The oceans are a precious resource that is critical to our economies and well-being. Because they are a shared resource, public policies are often necessary to protect them. Learn more about some of these policies or potential policies here.
    • America’s Living Oceans: Charting A Course For Sea Change - The Pew Oceans Commission, a bipartisan, independent group of American leaders, was created to chart a new course for the nation’s ocean policy. The report of the Pew Oceans Commission, issued in May 2003, outlines a national agenda for protecting and restoring our oceans.
    • Protecting Our Ocean: California’s Action Strategy - On June 4, 2004 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger submitted his comments on the Preliminary Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, which documented California’s leadership in ocean and coastal management and provided the Governor’s call for strong actions at all levels of government to protect and manage these resources.
    • An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century - Released by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy on September 20, 2004, this report contains the Commission’s findings and recommendations for a new, coordinated, and comprehensive national ocean policy.
  • Ocean Literacy (How to educate the public on ocean issues) - The average American has little knowledge of ocean and coastal ecosystems and how we humans affect them. While the gap between science and the public is increasing, it is clear that our oceans are in trouble and that any effective efforts to restore and protect them must be rooted in strong support by a well-informed public. Explore the reports below to learn more about ocean literacy.
    • Ocean literacy Workshops I, II, and III-This report summarizes the results of a workshop held at the Aquarium of the Pacific on June 15, 2005. In the past several years, a number of reports and research papers have pointed out that while people love the ocean, they neither know much about it, nor believe that their actions affect its health. That is, they are not “ocean literate.” It was also pointed out that there is a need to develop ocean education programs targeted not only at the formal education sector, but also at the general public—from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.
    • The Wetlands and Watershed Public Education and Outreach Forum-The Aquarium of the Pacific and the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project hosted a half-day forum for zoos, aquaria, museums, and other educational organizations in the Southern California region to discuss wetland and watershed education and outreach.
    • The Conference on Ocean Literacy-As part of the national Conference on Ocean Literacy (CoOL), the Aquarium of the Pacific hosted a simultaneous event which brought together 119 participants representing academia, aquariums, museums, science centers, media, federal and state government officials and staff, industry, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other stakeholders with an interest in environmental literacy. Attendees discussed the essential principles of ocean literacy; suggested strategies for achieving ocean literacy; and outlined the current challenges and opportunities facing the nation and California for educating school children and the general public to make informed and responsible decisions about the ocean and its resources.
    • “It’s Turtles All The Way Down” - The second of a series of workshops on animals ranging from whales to corals, this meeting focused on the plight of turtles and the different ways the Aquarium of the Pacific can bring out their stories, threats, experiences, and habitats. This workshop is an outgrowth of a discussion held by the Forward Planning Committee of the Aquarium’s Board of Directors.