Aquarium of the Pacific

Practicum Project | 2023

Developing a sustainable procurement policy for the Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California is the largest aquarium in Southern California and the fourth-largest aquarium in the United States. Founded in 1998, the Aquarium’s mission is to “instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.” With approximately 1.5 million visitors annually, aquarium activities, including visitor activities and accommodations, already generate a substantial waste stream. Globally, waste generation is projected to increase by 73% by 2050. To manage and reduce future waste, the Aquarium of the Pacific has partnered with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’s Environmental Science Practicum program to implement an updated sustainable procurement policy and waste reduction plan.

Our team’s primary focus for the 2022-23 project year is to evaluate waste generated from both aquarium purchases and visitor activities to identify potential areas for waste reduction. The focus of our waste evaluations may range from operations and retail to construction material and office supplies. We will build upon the contributions made by previous Practicum teams to create a sustainable procurement policy, waste stream analysis, and objectives for future initiatives, by comparing baseline procurement data for 2019 with data collected by the Aquarium and Practicum students over the last two years. Our efforts will ensure that the aquarium is able to minimize its environmental impact through cost-effective, sustainable solutions.

Student Team: Faheema Ahmed, Simon Dionson, Abraham Hernandez, Lingxi Liu, Kelly Ou, Pelpita K Pahan D Perera, Magaly Santos, Jessa Smith, and Bailey Vargas

Client: Aquarium of the Pacific

Advisor: Dr. Peter Kareiva