Shedd Aquarium Sparks Conservation Action During "Earth Week at Shedd"

Guests Can Take Advantage of a Suite of Earth-Inspired Events from April 14 to April 22

Shedd Aquarium is set to host a suite of events and activities leading up to Earth Day this year that are designed to get people of all ages and interests educated and inspired to play a role in protecting the environment. Taking place from Saturday, April 14 through Sunday, April 22, Earth Week at Shedd will provide visitors with individual ways they can take action for the Earth, like reducing their use of single-use plastic items.

Every year, approximately 1 billion people observe Earth Day (April 22) as a day to celebrate the planet. Typically a one-day event to take action for the Earth, Shedd is expanding the celebration to a full Earth Week. On site, special events and kid-friendly activities will help guests learn how small commitments make big impacts for the Earth. Outside the aquarium, people can celebrate Earth Week with the Chicagoland community through Shedd-organized clean-up efforts across the city.

On Earth Day of 2017, Shedd Aquarium began its endeavor to reduce plastic pollution locally with simple actions, like choosing to Shedd the Straw. Now, with 100 restaurants – and counting! – committed to the Shedd the Straw program and many people joining the movement individually, Shedd is challenging individuals and communities to go beyond the straw and reduce their use of other forms of single-use plastics, like plastic bags and plastic bottles. Together, #LetsSheddPlastic for a world thriving with aquatic life, sustained by people who love, understand and protect it.

For more information about Earth Week at Shedd Aquarium, please see below or visit Shedd’s website.  

Hi-res photos and videos are available for download:

Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium

Celebrating Science at Shedd Aquarium

Science. Some people say it. Some people march it. Shedd lives it every day, and you live it too. As people around the country “March for Science” on April 14, discover how science happens every day and all around you. At “Curiosity Stations” around the aquarium, visitors will learn how they can be a naturalist, horticulturist, ecologist, marine biologist and science champion, while also discovering ways they are already immersed in science every day. They can also meet some of Shedd’s scientists throughout the day and spark a new curiosity for aquatic science.

Living Without Waste: Bea Johnson’s Tips for a Zero-Waste Home

Americans create 258 million tons of trash every year. But where does all that trash go, and what are its impacts on the environment? In a free, after-hours event, Zero Waste Chicago and Shedd Aquarium are coming together to host Bea Johnson, author of “Zero Waste Home.” As a public speaker, Johnson is an advocate of waste-free living, sharing her story of successfully containing her family’s annual waste to just one glass jar. Through a presentation by Johnson, a panel discussion and an “action expo” of local organizations and businesses, guests can learn ways they can reduce their landfill waste at home.

  • When: Monday, April 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Phelps Auditorium at Shedd Aquarium
  • Admission: Free to the public with registration. Note: This event currently has a waitlist for registration.
  • Details: Visit Shedd Aquarium’s Facebook

“The Ark & Beyond” Book Launch Party

As scores of wild species and ecosystems around the world face a variety of human-caused threats, from habitat destruction and fragmentation to rapid climate change, a new book published by the University of Chicago Press illuminates the growing significance zoos and aquariums play as conservation engines for the preservation of global biodiversity in this century. Titled “The Ark and Beyond: The Evolution of Zoo and Aquarium Conservation,” the book – published in March 2018 – is written by a collection of authors from zoos and aquariums, including Shedd Aquarium’s Vice President of Conservation Research Dr. Chuck Knapp, as well as an impressive roster of university-based historians, biologists, ethicists and social scientists. In an after-hours event at Shedd Aquarium, guests can discuss the book’s conclusions and hear from a handful of its authors during a panel discussion, which will include Dr. Chuck Knapp. At the event, visiting bookworms can purchase “The Ark and Beyond” and learn about the role scientific research and conservation initiatives play in protecting Earth’s wildlife.

Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea Goes Outdoors

The four final, and largest, aquatic animal sculptures made of marine debris will land at Shedd on April 20. Located outside Shedd’s four walls, Museum Campus visitors will have the opportunity to see a 14-foot-long triggerfish, a 9-foot-tall octopus, 11-foot-long shark and 1,000-pound penguin in the form of a larger-than-life sculpture. Running through September 2018, the exhibit’s 19 art pieces continues to draw attention to the issue with plastic pollution as guests come face-to-face with both the obscure and common everyday items – from a car bumper to flip flops to water bottles and more –  that were collected on beaches, then transformed into the sculptures.  

  • When: Friday, April 20 through September 2018

Elected Officials Co-Host Community Beach Clean-Ups

From the North Side to the South Side and neighborhoods in between, Shedd Aquarium is partnering with local elected officials during Earth Week to host four, simultaneous Great Lakes Action Days on Saturday, April 21 to pick up litter, like plastic, on local beaches. No matter what neighborhood you call home, you can help protect local waterways during Earth Week.

World Fish Migration Day at Shedd

When most people think of animal migrations, they tend to think of birds or large mammals, but in our waterways, we have many migratory fishes. Migratory fishes such as catfish, sturgeon, eel and salmon support the diets and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. However, these fishes face a number of threats, one of the most widespread being physical barriers like dams and culverts. To raise awareness about these important fishes of the world, Shedd Aquarium will celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Saturday, April 21. During the day-long celebration, visitors can make like a fish and migrate through the aquarium with a “passport” to the freshwater migratory fishes of the world.

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