The Aquatic Biosphere Project has joined forces with a new global coalition of aquariums, and becomes part of the “World aquariums #ReadyToChange to #BeatPlasticPollution” campaign.

Beating Plastic Pollution – Joining Forces from Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Friday, January 4, 2019 — The Edmonton based Aquatic Biosphere Project has joined a global campaign to combat plastic pollution with over 100 aquariums thus far from 33 countries, including UK, USA, Germany, France, and Brazil to name a few. Currently the Aquatic Biosphere Project is only one of two operations in Canada that has joined this global effort.

The European Commission, together with the United Nations Environment Programme, and with the support of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, the European Union of Aquarium Curators, the World Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the US Aquarium Conservation Partnership and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, announced the coalition at the 5th edition of the “Our Ocean” international conference in Bali, October 2018.

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said: “The European Commission has been working for 18 months to instigate and build this global coalition. Aquariums are a window to our ocean. With their collections and their educational programmes, they show us what we need to protect, and they inspire the ocean lovers of tomorrow. Millions of people visit aquariums around the world every year. This will mobilise them to rethink the way we use plastic.”

The Aquatic Biosphere Project is a new initiative in Alberta, based in the Edmonton Metro Area, to build a conservation aquarium that brings the Story of Water to life. Supported by an education centre, environmental innovations and research facility, the Aquatic Biosphere will be a public voice for water in Western Canada.

Coalition members have committed to become engaged within their facilities to communicate the use and awareness of single-use plastics in everyday life. The Aquatic Biosphere Project will be looking to ally with potential partners and stakeholders, including sponsors, funders and NGOs, to maximise the initiative’s impact by promoting best practices in behavioural change.

The Aquatic Biosphere presents a unique perspective from the rest of the 100+ coalition members. As a project in the design and funding stage, it has an unusual opportunity to present and discuss single-use plastics use in the sustainable, functional aspects of design and operations, literally from the ground up.

The Project is committed to discovering ways to reduce the amount of consumable plastics with sustainable replacements in program delivery and with public experiences. Actions being taken and planned by the Aquatic Biosphere include, but are not limited to;

  • Developing community partnerships and collaborations with other businesses, charities, and non-profits to raise the awareness of environmental impact when choosing single-use plastics.
  • Design, construction and operations planning for a sustainable facility that examines the inclusion of plastics and other materials from the very beginning.
  • Leading plastic specific public engagement activities and events across the Province, including riverbank and beach cleans, shows & festivals, and hands on activities all with clear environmental messaging.
  • Educational programming outreach with plastics awareness components and supporting instructional materials.
  • Promotion of realistic alternatives for lifestyle choices that reduce single-use plastics.

Paula Polman, Board Chair of the Aquarium Society of Alberta, said: “As a charity for aquatic conservation and education, our focus is on connecting people with our global water systems through knowledge and understanding. That is why it was so important that we join this coalition, even before we have a physical building here in Edmonton. People want to know more, to understand how their choices impact the environment and to what degree. There is a great deal of hope in this – we know now what the problem is, we understand what the impact is, and we have the technology and ability to turn this around. This is doable.

The Project is very proud to be a part of this worldwide aquarium collaboration. It is wonderful to see the growing level of public awareness with this issue, and the steady increase in single-use plastic alternatives in the marketplace. The Aquatic Biosphere is excited to be a part of this alliance for water, from right here in Alberta.”

For more information about the European Commission/UNESCO initiative:

European Commission Press Release, Brussels, October 26, 2018 (

About the Aquatic Biosphere Project:

The Aquarium Society of Alberta is a registered, for-impact charity organization that is focused on the creation of a unique new legacy project, the Aquatic Biosphere. The concept looks to represent the environmental and biological heritage of our region, reaching through the country and overseas. Through a public conservation aquarium tourist attraction, integrated with an educational centre, innovation and research facilities, this endeavour will bring rich new opportunities to the Edmonton Metro Region in purposeful economic development, educational enhancement and research impacting the health and sustainability of our ecosystems. The concept of the Aquatic Biosphere Project brings together a number of very important, and, as first glance, very different elements in a totally coherent way. Here are unforgettable visitor experiences, new science research facilities, creation of exciting job opportunities for local people, conservation of native as well as exotic wildlife, champion of the environment, and working to build nation to nation links. The Aquatic Biosphere Project is looking towards the future, as a community builder, industry partner, and aquatic ecosystem advocate.

For more information:

Please contact the Board Chair of the Aquarium Society of Alberta, Paula Polman. She is available for interviews about the initiatives planned in support of this coalition, as well as the Aquatic Biosphere Project.

Contact:    Paula Polman, Board Chair & Founder