Last updated: 09:38 AM ET, Wed May 20 2015

SeaWorld Donates $1.5 Million to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | May 20, 2015

SeaWorld Donates $1.5 Million to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Despite the many criticisms levied against SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. for the handling of their animals over the years, the company has taken another major step forward by donating $1.5 million over three years to The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

According to SeaWorld, the company has pledged to donate $10 million total to fund research and conservation projects for killer whales in the wild through The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP).

The $10 million worth of funding will be the largest private commitment of its kind.

The partnership between SeaWorld and the KWRCP will focus on three primary strategies, including increasing prey availability, improving habitat quality and strengthening management through crucial research.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. president and chief executive officer, Joel Manby, released a statement regarding the $1.5 million donation to the NFWF:

“SeaWorld and the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund have long supported organizations that focus on results-driven, on-the-ground research and conservation work. NFWF has a longstanding reputation for working efficiently and effectively to conserve species and their habitats and we are looking forward to working together to protect wild killer whale populations.”

As for the NFWF, the foundation will be looking to match SeaWorld’s commitment by utilizing additional public and private dollars. In addition, the NFWF plans to release an initial Request for Proposals (RFP) June 8 in conjunction with the global celebration of World Oceans Day.

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has already shown its commitment to the $10 million goal by funding projects that include nutritional assessment of wild killer whales, ways to improve the health and safety of mothers and their calves and extensive research on toxins that can be found inside the animals.

The new programs are also dedicated in part to providing support and aid in the recovery of the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population found in the Salish Sea, near Washington State and the surrounding areas.


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