The Value of Zoos and Aquariums
Every year, more than 182 million guests visit U.S. aquariums and zoos. That's more than the annual attendance of the national football, basketball, hockey and baseball leagues - combined.
The educational footprint of this exposure spans far and wide. In the past ten years, accredited U.S. aquariums have trained more than 400,000 teachers and school field trips connected more than 12 million students with the natural world.
Studies show that seeing and learning about beluga whales and other marine mammals in person increases understanding of the species, as well as the impact of the environmental changes occurring in our oceans. The book Building a Future for Wildlife, by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, says it best: "Zoos and aquariums enable people to develop appreciation, wonder, respect, understanding, care and concern about nature."