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Seuss mixed with Oceans Day equals fun for kids

| Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium this weekend is one of many American zoos and aquariums that will combine a celebration of oceans with a party commemorating a beloved children's author, with plenty of hands-on activities for kids.

Dr. Seuss' World Oceans Day, with activities on Saturday and Sunday, celebrates both World Oceans Day -- which is Tuesday -- and the 50th anniversary of the book "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." At the zoo, several activities with either a Seuss or ocean theme will be offered around the PPG Aquarium and the Water's Edge exhibit. Kids can make Seuss bookmarks and crowns, play Seuss and ocean trivia games, touch items from the ocean, and talk to animal experts about sea creatures. The kids will really enjoy the Seuss theme, says Gabriele Boldizar, special events manager for the Highland Park zoo.

"We're really excited about that," she says. "Learning about the ocean can be fun."

This year's theme for World Oceans Day is "Oceans of Life," which encourages participants to choose their favorite sea creature among the ocean's diverse ecosystem, and consider what they might do to help that creature. Many everyday activities, like choosing what seafood to eat and what products to use on the lawn, ultimately affect ocean health -- even in Pittsburgh, because of how water bodies flow into each other, says Dwayne Biggs, curator of aquatic life at the aquarium.

"Everybody, I believe, needs to think about what they do -- even the folks here in Pittsburgh," Biggs says. "Three rivers is a lot of water. Everything folks do affects ocean life. It all starts with a drop of water."

With the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, World Oceans Day should be especially poignant this year, Biggs says, because many people are thinking about the environment and wildlife in and around the ocean. Some 70 percent of the planet is oceans, and people must care for them, he says.

"I think World Oceans Day is an awareness day for folks to really think about how they're connected to the ocean," Biggs says. "We really want people to be aware of that. We rely on our oceans."

Additional Information:

Dr. Seuss' World Oceans Day

When: Activities take place 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Admission: Included with general zoo admission of $13 for adults, $12 for age 60 and older, $11 for ages 2-13, and free for children younger than 2.

Where: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Highland Park

Details: 412-665-3640 or website

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