Climate Change / Key Issues

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The San Francisco Bay estuary connects us to the ocean, which covers 70% of the earth. We are a water world. No matter where we live, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the weather we depend on relies on a healthy ocean. At Aquarium of the Bay, we organize our conservation programs around the following key issues.

Climate Change

Land and ocean animals, including humans, are all part of an interconnected system working together. When we burn fossil fuels such as oil, we add carbon dioxide into the air. This excess carbon dioxide is disrupting Earth’s balance, causing unprecedented changes in Earth’s climate and making it harder for all of us to survive. As guardians of our planet, it is our responsibility to slow the effects of climate change and take care of the Earth for the animals, ourselves, and for future generations.
How You Can Help:
  • Visit our PG&E Bay Lab to Touch the Bay and meet our climate change ambassadors.
  • If you’re a teacher and/or parent, check out our BayMobile program, which teaches students throughout the Bay Area all about climate change.
  • We encourage you to take climate action and Raise Your Voice – to your friends, family, and decision makers. 
Learn More: Download Fact Sheet

Sustainable Seafood

Our day-to-day consumption decisions – like which seafood to eat – have an effect on our environment.  Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and tools available to help guide our choices in support of a healthier San Francisco Bay, watershed, and planet as a whole. Over the past decade or so, seafood consumers around the world have helped to improve fishing and aquaculture practices – but there is still more work to do. 
How You Can Help: Learn More: Download Fact Sheet

Marine Debris and Plastic Pollution

Did you know that about 80% of all trash found in the ocean comes from land, adn that most of it is plastic pieces of many sizes? Even if you don’t live by the sea, your trash affects your local ecosystem and can still reach the ocean – all rivers and waterways meet the ocean at some point! Every day, we learn more and more about the impacts of how our trash affects the health of the ocean and all the flora and fauna that call the ocean home. We can all make a difference by making simple daily choices, which when combined, add up to big positive change.
How You Can Help:
  • Visit the Sea Lion Center to learn more about ways we can protect marine mammals from being entangled in our trash.
  • Get involved in local Beach and Shoreline Cleanups.
  • Learn about lost fishing gear and other types of marine debris, and watch a video to learn more about how you can be an everyday ocean hero. 
Learn More: Download Fact Sheet

Marine Protected Areas

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are national parks, just like Yosemite or Yellowstone, with one small difference – they are underwater.  Well-designed and managed MPAs are one of our best ways to help restore ocean health.
How You Can Help:
  • Watch our short video about the importance of MPAs.
  • Learn about California’s network of MPAs and the local Golden Gate Collaborative. 
  • Check out what some of our Conservation Partners – such as Mission Blue – are working on MPAs.
Learn More: Download Fact Sheet

Watershed Health and Freshwater Flows

All plants, animals, and people live in a watershed. We all depend on the fresh water that flows from rainfall and snowmelt into surface streams and groundwater, and downstream to major rivers and eventually to the sea.  In the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout much of California, we live in or depend on the largest watershed and estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, and all of us have a role in improving its health – not only for our own sake, but on behalf of the plants and animals that also depend on it.
What You Can Do:

Learn More: Download Fact Sheet