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May 23 11:02 AM

Ben Lecomte to free dive at Audubon Aquarium

Long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte will free dive in Audubon Aquarium of the America’s Great Maya Reef exhibit during the Aquarium's Oceanfest on Saturday, May 31, at 11:30 a.m. The dive is part of an awareness-raising tour for his upcoming Pacific Ocean crossing.

From late 2014 until the spring of 2015, Lecomte plans to swim across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about the issue of pollution, and damage to oceans and waterways. The 8,850-kilometer route from Tokyo to San Francisco intentionally heads right through the Pacific Trash Vortex, a soup of chemicals, plastics and other debris trapped by currents in the North Pacific.

“Our way of life is not sustainable,” says Lecomte. “I’m a father, and I can’t stand by and do nothing while the planet we’re passing on to our children grows increasingly unlivable. You don’t have to swim across an ocean to help, though; we can all make a difference by being aware of our own actions, by minimizing our impact, and by keeping litter out of our waterways.”

As well as raising awareness for The Longest Swim, Audubon Aquarium will host Oceanfest from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to celebrate World Ocean’s Day. This global event aims to encourage individuals to recognize the importance of the world's oceans and to inspire humanity to explore ways to save them for pre sent and future generations.

Oceanfest will feature fun activities to learn about the oceans and the animals that call them home. Participants will include LA Sea Grant, Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program, and Save The Manatee Club. There will also be live animal presentations and gallery chats throughout the Aquarium.

About The Longest Swim The Longest Swim is an epic journey undertaken by global adventurer Ben Lecomte to bring global attention to the issue of ocean pollution. From late 2014 until the spring of 2015, Lecomte will swim from Tokyo to San Francisco, engaging and inspiring people all over the world to take action.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Tickets to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are $22.50 for adults, $16 for children and $17 for seniors. Admission is free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased by visiting AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attractions. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.

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