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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."

Share Your Voice

I believe that zoos and aquariums help people, especially children, develop an appreciation for nature and conservation.

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By the Numbers

Agree that children learn more about marine mammals at an aquarium or zoo than in a school classroom, and 88 percent agree that you can learn about animals at marine parks in a way that can't be replicated by watching film or TV programs.

Agree that seeing a marine mammal at these facilities fosters a connection to the animal.

Agree that children are more likely to be concerned about animals if they learn about them at marine life parks, aquariums and zoos, and that visiting these facilities can inspire conservation action to help marine mammals and their ocean environments.

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