Mississippi Aquarium raising awareness for ocean conservation through Christmas

The Mississippi Aquarium is getting ready to celebrate the holidays. This year, they’re using their Christmas tree decorations to bring awareness to the current state of our oceans.

Christmas trees are usually decked out in bright lights and shiny ornaments, but that’s not the case for the ones at the Mississippi Aquarium. Instead, you’ll find plastic waste decorations and strong messages of ocean conservation. Education Outreach Manager Elizabeth Whigham said, “These trees behind me are made of grapevine. They were designed and created by Sadie Jane’s. All of the plastic on them are representative of plastics found out in the ocean. Combined with our trees, there’s 100 pounds of plastic behind me. That’s not nearly as much as what goes into the ocean every second. There’s actually 500 pounds of plastic that enters our waterways every second.”

Whigham says the plastic used to decorate the Christmas trees was donated by staff. The plastic on the trees includes everyday items that can be found inside your home. “These are going to help and show people who visit that they can take action and help reduce and conserve waterways by reducing their usage of single use plastics and supporting companies that put the earth first and help to clean up our ecosystems around Mississippi and across the world.”

While the trees on the left and right show the current state of our oceans, the middle Christmas tree represents hope for the future with clean waterways.

However, Mississippi Aquarium Director of Research Holley Muraco says that future is not possible without change. “If we do not change our ways by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. To me that is just a staggering statistic. We cannot let that happen. Recycling is part of the solution, but really and truly we must reduce our single use plastics.”

You can support ocean conservation efforts by visiting the Mississippi Aquarium where you can learn more about what you can do.

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