World Wildlife Day, which occurs annually on March 3, helps raise awareness of the importance of wildlife and the dangers that face it. With a changing environment, protecting the Earth's wildlife is more important than ever. Whether you live in areas populated with wildlife or not, there are ways that you can help.
By growing native plants in a garden or in your yard, you can help birds by providing them with essential insects, seeds, nutrients and shelter that they need year-round. Additionally, by adding a bird bath or rain garden, you can provide clean water sources for birds and other wildlife. This year marks the Year of the Bird, so there's no better time to help protect birds by growing native plants!
If you cannot plant a garden but still want to help, no need to worry! Many communities, including Baltimore, hold local conservation events that can range from planting trees to cleaning local bodies of water. Participating in these events helps create a healthier ecosystem for local wildlife, providing more opportunities for clean food and water.
Pollinators are animals such as bees, birds and butterflies that help fertilize plants; without them, many plants and fruits would not grow. Educating yourself about the importance of pollinators and protecting pollinators in your area can go a long way in creating fresh produce and food options for wildlife.
If you live close to the National Aquarium, you can get involved with our Citizen Science program! Anyone, regardless of age, can participate in this program, in which you will become more aware of important topics in science that will ultimately contribute to local, regional and global research projects. These projects can lead to improvements in the quality of our ecosystem that benefit wildlife in a variety of ways. If you do not live close to the Aquarium, try to find a similar program near you!
Finally, cutting down on your use of single-use plastic is a small and easy way to help wildlife. Single-use plastic items frequently make their way into the ocean, which harms the marine ecosystem and marine animals. Consuming pieces of plastic can harm the fish that eat it as well as the predators that eat those fish. By using reusable plastic items such as reusable straws and reusable containers, you can cut down on the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean.
Learn more about how we are working to improve the environment and help wildlife, and how you can get involved!