lake sturgeon

In Our Hands

Your last straw is the first step.

Single-use plastic is only in your hands for a moment – but for our aquatic friends, plastic pollution remains in the ocean, rivers, and lakes for hundreds of years – polluting their habitats and endangering their health.  

Thankfully, there are simple actions we can take to help protect these incredible animals. And even a tiny change is a step in the right direction.  We're partnering with a group of over 20 of our fellow aquariums across the country (and YOU) to fight plastic pollution.

Make your last straw the first step to plastic-free waterways. Sign the pledge now to say you’ll skip the plastic straws you don’t need.

Take the Pledge

Show your support and spread the word about this important campaign!


Skip the Straw graphicPlastic is the most prevalent type of debris in aquatic environments, and single-use plastics, such as drinking straws, are a major source of this pollution. Over time, these items break down but don’t fully biodegrade, creating fragments (microplastics) that can be consumed by animals, impacting their ability to feed as well as contaminating the seafood people enjoy. Right here at home, a water quality study recently found alarming levels of microplastics in the Tennessee River. The solution to this problem, starts with all of us making thoughtful choices about the way we use plastic every day.

Instead of a plastic straw, use an alternative, reusable sipping device made from paper, metal, glass or even bamboo. Need help getting started? You can find resuable straws and other eco-friendly items right in our gift shop

Here at the Tennessee Aquarium, we’re walking the walk too, making a commitment to reduce single-use plastic in our concession stands and gift shops.

It’s time for innovative alternatives to single-use plastic to become the standard everywhere we go – at our offices, our coffee shops, our parks, and our aquariums. Together we can make that happen.