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Shedd Aquarium Shares Five Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Taking Action for Animals Made Easy on April 22 (and Beyond!)

April 20, 2021

A Shedd researcher wearing a face mask walks through a local forest.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still many ways the Chicago community can get active and commit to environmental action on Earth Day, April 22—and Shedd Aquarium is sharing five ways to get involved! As an organization caring for thousands of species daily, Shedd is vested in helping the public understand how to make a difference in protecting aquatic life across the planet on Earth Day and beyond. Among Shedd’s offerings this year is the opportunity to join a new community of environmental advocates driving real, impactful changes for wildlife—a community launched this month called Surge.

Five Ways to Act with Shedd:

1. Become part of Surge—Shedd Aquarium’s new community of change-makers

Surge is a new action-oriented community from Shedd Aquarium that offers unique and steady opportunities to build a healthy and equitable future for all members of our shared planet. The platform, launched this April, shares compelling animal content and offers tools to take action, delivered directly to your email inbox, encouraging readers to make changes in their own lives that will add up for greater impact for animals, nature and the planet. Sign petitions to protect wild spaces with us, learn how to take climate action in your kitchen and from your couch, or advocate for clean water in our communities.

Take a step toward being part of the solution with Surge at

2. Tell Congress you want plastic-free waterways

In under two minutes, the public can help prevent plastic pollution by stopping it before it can happen. A comprehensive bill to tackle the plastic pollution crisis was recently introduced in Congress, called the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021. The bill would phase out throwaway plastics made from fossil fuels, hold the plastic industry responsible for its waste and pause construction on any new plastic-making plants. The Act will address the plastic pollution crisis and protect our communities and wildlife—but we need your help to move it forward!

Join Shedd in support of the bill by contacting your member of Congress to ask them to co-sponsor the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act here.

3. Connect and learn during Shedd's Virtual Teen Lab Workshops, for the next generation of animal advocates 

Shedd Aquarium’s Teen Learning Lab has gone virtual, offering teens free, unique learning experiences with peers, Shedd’s experts and animal residents! On Wednesday, April 21, teens can explore activities to do outdoors to engage with nature, including how to use apps to identify local species or create a nature journal to record animals and plants they observe. And on Thursday, April 29, teens can join Shedd’s experts to learn how to connect their interests, like gaming and crafting, to sustainability and caring for animals and the environment. They’ll also go on a virtual mini-tour of the aquarium where we’ll highlight animals from a recent, popular video game!

Teens can register for these Virtual Teen Lab Workshops, and others, online here.

4. Join Shedd out in nature for the City Nature Challenge on May 1

From April 30 through May 3, hundreds of cities worldwide will compete to see who can make the most observations of urban flora and fauna, find the most species and get the most people participating in what is known as the City Nature Challenge. The challenge aims to engage city residents and visitors in learning about their local nature and to help all of us better understand urban biodiversity. To push for Chicago to “win” the challenge, five organizations are coming together to lead our city’s efforts, including Chicago Wilderness, Chicago Park District, Project Budburst, Chicago Ornithological Society and Shedd Aquarium. You can join the challenge with Shedd during a special day of community science at Skokie Lagoons on May 1.

Date: Saturday, May 1
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – join anytime, no registration or sign-up necessary!
Location: Skokie Lagoons, Forest Way Picnic Grove #1 (link here for a map!)
Questions: Email [email protected] or visit to find other dates to join

5. Look nature in the eye at Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium cares for thousands of animals from around the world, from smooth stingrays and leathery lake sturgeon to pulsing jellies and paddling wood ducks. This commitment to the care and welfare of animals at Shedd extends into wild aquatic ecosystems, as we know all forms of life are essential for a healthy planet. A visit to Shedd, on Earth Day and every day, fuels the aquarium’s contributions to animal care, aquatic science and wildlife conservation, on top of supporting Shedd’s financial recovery after COVID-19 related closures. With stringent measures in place to create a safe and enriching experience with the aquatic animal world, guests can come eye-to-eye with animals of the Pacific Northwest, Amazon, Caribbean, Philippines and more, as well as experience the multisensory effects in the 4-D theatre. Guests can purchase their tickets and choose their time of arrival online, in advance at

VISUALS: Relevant photos are available for download:
Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium