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Liquid Gold

California sea lions are just one of the million or so species that depend on ocean habitat. Photo by Jamie Pham

June conservation observances highlight water, a precious resource around the planet and at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Here in Southern California, our Mediterranean climate means that most of our rain falls during the cooler winter months and we have almost no precipitation during the rest of the year. The summer solstice is on the horizon and our official dry season has already begun after a winter that saw rainfall levels that were far below average. So, water conservation should be on everyone’s mind.

World Ocean Day is today, June 8. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, the conservation issues that this international observance highlights include plastic pollution and sustainable seafood. The theme of this year’s World Ocean Day was “Life and Livelihoods,” which explores how the world’s oceans support both wildlife and human cultures. Learn more at worldoceanday.org.

Rainfall on the Sumatran tiger pool was a very rare sight this past winter. Photo by Tad Motoyama

Later this month, on June 22, the day after the Summer Solstice, World Rainforest Day takes place (worldrainforestday.org/). Rainforest habitat is essentially the inverse of our native chaparral ecosystem, receiving the most rainfall of all biomes. In a typical year, rainforests receive 79 to 394 inches of precipitation, as compared with 10 to 17 inches annually in Southern California. So, during the long, dry summer ahead, be water conscious!

  • Every drop of water counts! Find conservation tips from the L.A. Department of Water and Power on their website: ladwp.com
  • Avoid using chemical fertilizers and pesticides which run off into our watershed.
  • Reduce your use of single-use plastics.
  • Try to buy sustainably produced, natural fiber clothing.
  • When you purchase seafood at the market or in a restaurant, make sustainable choices by checking with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch: seafoodwatch.org
Giant river otters make their home in the riverways of South America—and at Rainforest of the Americas. Photo by Tad Motoyama