Conservation Priorities

Conservation Priorities


In addition to our comprehensive Conservation Programs, The Florida Aquarium has prioritized several critical conservation areas of focus that align well with our expertise and advance our Mission.  Activities often include public engagement, community service, and environmental stewardship and are aligned across different departments as exemplified below.  Want to join us in these efforts? Click here to participate in conservation events. 


Because many terrestrial and aquatic habitats have been diminished or even destroyed, restoration efforts are required if we are to restore a functional abundance and distribution of species. Our Volunteer and Events departments organize many community and beach clean-up events annually; staff and volunteers have planted numerous pollinator gardens at our CFC campus and are opening a public butterfly garden at our main campus; and the Horticulture department is working to restore the Aquarium’s spoil island, Fantasy Island, and is involved with mangrove restoration projects.



Because the majority of animals now need to live in some level of managed or protected care ranging from large reserves, National Parks, or Marine Sanctuaries, understanding and meeting their health and welfare needs is of utmost importance.  Our Animal Care and Health department support the needs of animals both in our care and elsewhere including sending medical supplies to support the care of thousands of radiated tortoises seized from wildlife traffickers in Madagascar and sending staff and medical supplies to South Africa to assist with African penguin rescues.   Our Development department also raises funds to support wildlife in crisis situations including Australian wildfire animal rehabilitation efforts.


Reduction of Single-Use Plastics

Because microplastics are now found in beverages and food, and plastic waste is harming wildlife and wild places at record levels, the consumption of single-use plastics must be significantly reduced.  Our Learning and Marketing departments managed a successful Skip the Straw Campaign with visitors and local business and are expanding their focus beyond straws to make a greater impact; and our Marketing and Dive Operations departments manage a Bead-Free Bay Campaign as part of Tampa’s annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival.  After the event, divers collect tons of beads strewn into the waterways and Aquarium guests receive $1 off admission for every pound of beads they bring in.  These beads are then provided to a local organization that cleans them and resells them for use the following year.

Sustainable Business and Operational Practices

Because much of the world’s business and operational practices unnecessarily contribute to environmentally damaging outcomes, organizations need to adjust their practices, products, and activities to mitigate these impacts as much as possible.   Our Engineering and Facilities departments installed carpeting made of recycled fishing line in our event spaces and galleries and are installing a massive TECO Solar Pavilion that will offset our energy usage; our Sales Department sells an impressive line of items made from recycled plastic bottles; and our Business Operations department recently renegotiated our beverage contract so that we will no longer receive or sell plastic beverage bottles.