Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium celebrates Earth Day

PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WITN) – Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium invited visitors to join one of three teams: water warriors, food warriors, or garden warriors, as a part of the Green Team Challenge in celebration of Earth Day.

Edith Davis joined the Water Warrior team on this special day.

“Today is my 29th anniversary and yesterday was my 59th birthday, and today is Earth Day,” Davis shared.

As a water person, Davis naturally gravitated to learn about ways to keep our marine ecosystem healthy, but she was surprised by so much litter found in the ocean, with cigarette butts as one of the more prominent.

“Everybody should try their best not to do anything to harm animals, fish, everything. It’s nature. We should just all sit back and enjoy,” Davis added.

Each team highlights different areas where our planet needs our attention: the marine ecosystem, sustainable diet, and the green ecosystem.

The Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium also introduces endangered species such as sharks, sea turtles, and crocodiles.

One of them is a loggerhead turtle named Michael Phelps, who has been saved in a hotel pool – a place where he ended up following the source of light from the beach.

All of his siblings, unfortunately, didn’t survive due to pollution or disorientation from artificial sources of light that led them to dehydration.

Shannon Kemp, the communication manager, says there are ways to prevent these tragedies from happening to our endangered ocean species.

“Different fixtures, structures, and light bulbs that have that amber wavelength and that helps. Another way to help is to direct the light down instead of out to fill out all the space so point it down. Another one is to keep it low so instead of having safety lights by your head, have them by your ankles,” Kemp explained.

According to Kemp, Eastern North Carolina is home to 5 different types of sea turtles due to the climate and ecosystems that provide optimal nesting areas and food sources.

The Earth Day celebration events will continue throughout Endangered Species Day on May 17th and end on World Ocean Day on June 8th.