What started as the kick off day to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, for many retailers, is now the largest shopping day of the year. Billions of dollars are being spent on mostly disposable goods either made of plastic or wrapped in plastic and the trickle down effects on our landfills and oceans is staggering.

Enter Giving Tuesday – a global movement to take back the spirit of giving for individuals, families and organizations.

Vancouver Aquarium head veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena, has seen firsthand the effects of plastic debris on our wildlife while working to disentangle injured sea lions.

Vancouver Aquarium sea lion disentanglement

Vancouver Aquarium experts work to free a sea lion tangled in marine debris.

“I’ve been fortunate to be involved in several disentanglement efforts to save the lives of dozens of sea lions, but it only represents the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Haulena remarked. “Plastic that ends up in the ocean can have devastating effects on our local wildlife.”

The Vancouver Aquarium also works year-round to help make our shorelines a cleaner and safer place through our Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited. Last year over 100,000 kilograms of debris was removed from across the country, including over 11,000 plastic bags, but our work isn’t done yet.

Vancouver Aquarium Shoreline Cleanup

Thousands of volunteers participate in shoreline cleanups across Canada each year.

Whether you’ve finished your holiday shopping, or haven’t started yet, we ask you to celebrate Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, December 2, by making a donation to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre so that we may continue our efforts to keep our shorelines clean and, ultimately, protect the health of our oceans.

To thank you, and to demonstrate the impact giving makes, one donor and three friends will be selected to receive a private tour of our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver, to learn more about Chester’s remarkable rescue and rehabilitation. Each donation of $20 or more will be eligble for the meet and greet opportunity.

Vancouver Aquarium, False Killer Whale

Chester, a false killer whale, was rescued in July and is recovering at the Rescue Centre.

Thank you for supporting the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre in our efforts to conserve aquatic life, understand ocean pollution, and to keep ocean life and aquatic shorelines safe and free from marine debris.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre Giving Tuesday Rules and Regulations here.

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