SAN DIEGO (Oct. 10, 2012) — SeaWorld and San Diego Coastkeeper are teaming up to keep Mission Bay beautiful with the inaugural Mission Possible: Clean the Bay Day on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Participants can bring their boat, kayak or paddle board to join the on-water effort, either on their own or as a team with family, friends or coworkers. Those who cannot participate on the water can join the shoreline cleanup. The organizers will award prizes, including yearlong passes to SeaWorld, beluga interactions, penguin tours and more. The cleanup will take place on Mission Bay from 8 to 11 a.m. and the celebration and prizes will take place at Marie Starns Park (formerly South Shores Park), from 11 a.m. to noon.
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Since January 2012, volunteers with San Diego Coastkeeper have removed 740 pounds of debris from beaches on Mission Bay and nearby Mission Beach. Most of these are buoyant items, like plastic foam and plastic particles, bags, wrappers and straws that impair water quality and degrade coastal habitats, and also harm wildlife through entanglement or ingestion. While volunteers collected these items on the shoreline, the presence of debris extends into the water as well. Sitting at the base of the San Diego Watershed, water from inland creeks, streams, rivers, and rain events flows into Mission Bay on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Water transports trash left on the ground or accidentally blown out of trash bins through our watershed into our coastal waters.
SeaWorld’s Rescue Team sees first-hand the effects of marine debris because they care for animals that become entangled or ingest the items. Every year, SeaWorld rescues an average of 200 marine mammals, many of them affected by debris or pollution, such as fishing line and gear, oil spills and general debris such as plastic bags and other trash items. Debris also affects sea birds, especially pelicans. In 2012 so far, SeaWorld has cared for more than 200 brown pelicans, many of which were injured or ill because of marine debris.
Editor’s note: SeaWorld will provide a media boat for those outlets interested in covering this event. Because there will be a limited amount of space on the boat, availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis (those interested must contact SeaWorld Public Relations in advance).
About San Diego Coastkeeper:
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable water in San Diego County. Visit online at https://www.sdcoastkeeper.org
About SeaWorld San Diego
With more than 145 million visitors since its opening on March 21, 1964, SeaWorld is San Diego’s leading tourist attraction and one of the most popular marine-life parks in the world. SeaWorld San Diego is one of 10 parks operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. A global leader in animal care and conservation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment cares for more than 60,000 animals including 200 endangered or threatened species. This commitment extends to animals around the world–the company has contributed more than $50 million to conservation, wildlife rescue and environmental stewardship initiatives and operates one of the world’s most respected animal rescue and rehabilitation programs. SeaWorld parks have rescued more than 20,000 orphaned, injured or ill animals over four decades; SeaWorld San Diego alone has rescued more than 6,000 animals during that time.