AQUARIUM CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) believes in building a world in which everyone takes an active part in protecting Earth’s diverse ecosystems. Because all life is interconnected, we believe that we can make choices that will build a sustainable world for nature and humankind alike. Education and conservation actions are key components in building a community of environmental stewards.
All that we do at the Aquarium – caring for animals, teaching the public, visiting schools, and building partnerships – is part of our strategy to build and support healthy ecosystems around our Living Planet.
There are many ways you can support and join our conservation efforts. Please read on to learn more, or click below to get involved.
SPECIES SURVIVAL PLAN PROGRAMS
LLPA collaborates with zoos and aquariums around the country to ensure the survival of threatened and endangered animals as part of several Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs as administered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). SSPs are conservation and cooperative breeding programs that help maintain genetic diversity and stabilize the population of specific species. The Aquarium is home to several SSP programs for a variety of animals from around the globe.
SSP Spotlight: Gentoo Penguins
The Aquarium is home to 21 Gentoo penguins, the third largest penguin species. The original 11 penguins came to us in 2010 from Moody Gardens in Texas. We’ve had four successful years of penguin births at LLPA.
SSP Spotlight: Clouded Leopards
One of 23 institutions participating in the SSP for Clouded leopards, the Aquarium has two Clouded leopards, a male named Koshi and a female named Rhu. They came to us from the Houston Zoo in 2016.
Meet our other SSP Animals
- Linnaeus’s two-toed sloths
- Luzon bleeding-heart doves
- Nicobar pigeons
- North American river otters
- Ocellate river stingrays
- Red-crested cardinals
- Silver-beaked tanagers
- Southern three-banded armadillos
- Turquoise tanagers
- White-blotched river stingrays
- Yellow-rumped caciques
- Zebra sharks
- Asian small-clawed otters
- Big-belly seahorses
- Blue-grey tanagers
- Caiman lizards
- Chestnut-mandibled toucans
- Crested oropendolas
- Crested wood partridges
- Cuban rock iguanas
- Emerald-winged doves
- Green aracaris
- Keel-billed toucans
Did you find one of your favorite animals on our SSP program list? If so, you may be able to symbolically adopt that animal today. Animal Adoptions help the Aquarium provide the best possible animal care by covering the costs of providing an engaging habitat and high-quality nutrition for one year for the animal you select. Adoptions also come with a photograph and fact sheet of your animal, an adoption certificate, and more—and your name will be added to our animal adoption wall!
LLPA dive team recently traveled to Key Largo, Florida, to help restore coral reefs along the Florida Reef Tract, through a collaboration with the Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF). The Florida Reef Tract is the third largest barrier reef in the world, and the only living coral barrier reef in the continental U.S. It’s home to staghorn and elkhorn corals, once dominant, but now listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. During the trip, they cleaned nursery trees, outplanted over 140 staghorn coral fragments, and fabricated and replaced three nursery trees off the Key Largo coast. Learn more about our team’s efforts HERE.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program
This program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean now, and for future generations. Their recommendations found on their website and The Seafood Watch App, indicate which seafood items are Best Choices or Good Alternatives, and which ones you should Avoid.
Fish are a primary food source for many animal species in the wild. The ocean is the great provider for ecosystems around the world. Like their cousins in the wild, many of the animals at LLPA rely on fish for their food. We support the efforts of Seafood Watch which makes recommendations to help you choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.
We believe all food should be sourced in a sustainable manner and our catering partner, ICON Culinary, upholds this standard in their daily operations. They source sustainable seafood, take steps to limit waste in the Reef Café and catering services, grow their own micro greens using aeroponic towers (growing plants without soil when weather allows), and utilize reusable or easily recyclable plating options whenever possible.
REUSABLE ENERGY & WATER
As an Aquarium in a landlocked state – the second driest in the nation – water is an extremely precious resource. LLPA makes every effort to recycle and reuse as much water as possible while maintaining high water quality standards in our exhibits. To do this, every system has its own recirculating system. Additionally, water is reused and shared between exhibits, starting with the more sensitive invertebrates like Jellies, Sea stars, Coral, and Sea urchins, then on to a variety of fish and shark exhibits, and finally on to the Gentoo penguins.
When the Aquarium exchanges water between systems, there is a dedicated recovery system to filter and sterilize the water before it enters a new exhibit. This process allows the sustainable reuse of water while ensuring the lowest water and salt usage possible.
The Aquarium installed solar panel arrays on the roof of our current facility to help offset electrical needs. As we expand, so will the amount of solar panels and our ability to produce more solar energy for our operations.
Event Network Gift Shop
Within our gift shop run by Event Network, we educate guests on the importance of keeping our oceans clean and plastic free by providing a more sustainable and Earth-friendly shopping experience. From reusable water bottles (offered at a discounted price with any in-store purchase), to items made from upcycled or recycled goods, guests can choose from a wide variety of eco-friendly products that help promote a greener lifestyle.
We have also worked closely with our vendors and suppliers to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used, both in the product and product packaging, but also how it is shipped and delivered to the Aquarium. We do not use single-use plastic bags, which are one of the biggest polluters in our oceans, but instead offer reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles at the register. Stop in and pick one up today and to help preserve and protect our oceans.
After traveling the globe as U2’s stage during the band’s record-breaking 360° Tour, The Claw will crown the Aquarium’s forthcoming Science Learning Campus expansion and be sustainably repurposed as a permanent Utah landmark and majestic symbol of science exploration, learning, and conservation. By acquiring this stage, the Aquarium is recycling 190 tons of steel.
You can help promote the sustainable reuse of this iconic sculpture and create the Science Learning Campus by making a donation or buying a brick or plaque to be displayed in front of or on top of the stage beneath the famous structure.
The Aquarium uses a lot of gloves every day for food preparation, animal habitat maintenance, and cleaning. We made the switch to recyclable gloves in 2018 by participating in the Kimberly-Clark “RightCycle” program. This change reduces the amount of gloves sent to the landfill by about 8.18 tons every year.
How it works
LLPA Team Members use the gloves and then they’re collected on site, shipped to a recycling center, and materials are integrated into new eco-friendly products such as flower pots and patio furniture.