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National Aquarium Encourages Public to Consider the Ocean on Earth Day


Earth Day isn’t just about the surfaces on which we stand. This year, the National Aquarium is urging the public to consider the other 71% of the planet: water.

During the 48 days between Earth Day (April 22) and World Oceans Day (June 8), the Aquarium will be encouraging the public to make conservation pledges as part of the organization’s 48 Days of Blue awareness campaign. These simple pledges include: using a reusable bottle, leaving the car at home twice a week, carrying all purchases with reusable bags, and turning off the faucet while brushing one’s teeth. Anyone can make a pledge at the website,, and can follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #48DaysofBlue.

"While we’ve come a long way in recognizing the limits of our planet’s green assets, our essential blue resources still tend to get overlooked,” said Eric Schwaab, National Aquarium senior vice president/chief conservation officer. “With simple actions like swapping single-use bottles for reusable ones, conserving energy at home and supporting efforts to reduce polluted stormwater runoff in our communities, together we can make a real difference for the future health of our oceans.”

The culmination of the 48 Days of Blue campaign will occur on World Oceans Day, when the Aquarium will share results from the initiative (e.g., how many people engaged, what kind of conservation impact was made, user-generated photos, etc.) with its online audiences. Each pledge will be accompanied by graphics that show the impact each personal pledge can have on the health of our oceans and environment.

Pledge-related facts:
  • The United States discards more than 33 million tons of plastic each year. Only 6.5 percent of it is recycled. 
  • A mass of plastic trash circulating in the North Pacific, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, spans an area twice the size of the United States. 
  • Transportation accounts for one-fourth of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States ever year. An average passenger vehicle emits 5.1 metric tons of CO2 per year. 
  • A bathroom faucet runs at approximately 2 gallons of water per minute.