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Volunteers are needed for beach cleanups in September. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

As beach season winds down in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a series of weekend cleanups to clear the shoreline of a summer’s worth of litter and debris.

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(Courtesy of Plastic Pollution Coalition)

Strides being made against the use of plastic products were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a global campaign is encouraging people to choose reusable materials over single-use plastic and get the reduction back on track.

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Shedd Aquarium’s Wild Reef shark habitat exhibit. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

To coincide with the reopening of Chicago, a number of museums will stay open late on Friday for an after-hours experience.

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A plover parent and chick at Montrose Beach in 2019, courtesy of the Shedd Aquarium. (Credit: Susan Szeszol)

Shedd Aquarium is hosting a pair of cleanup and habitat restoration days at 63rd Street beach, where 12 acres of dunes have attracted piping plovers, among other bird species.  

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A group of suckers on the move in Door County, Wisconsin, during a previous migration. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

Shedd Aquarium researchers are eagerly anticipating the spring migration of sucker fish, a species that could tell us about climate change.

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Harmony, the Shedd Aquarium's new Pacific white-sided dolphin. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Students from across Chicago voted on the name for the Shedd’s 5-month old Pacific white-sided dolphin calf.

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The Shedd Aquarium is preparing to reopen, with safety measures in place. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

With COVID-19 restrictions now loosened in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium has announced its plan to reopen later this month with a number of health and safety measures in place.

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A group of suckers on the move in Door County, Wisconsin. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

Walking along Lake Michigan or the Chicago River, it’s difficult to imagine an underwater world teeming with life. But it’s there, promises Karen Murchie, a research biologist at the Shedd Aquarium, and we have to protect it.

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Paul Eberhart, a lead animal care specialist at Brookfield Zoo, spends some time with the Nigerian dwarf goats. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society

For institutions with “living collections,” there’s really been no such thing as a shutdown during the pandemic. Even with no visitors coming through the door, zoos and aquariums are still caring for their animals around the clock.  

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Penguins from the Shedd Aquarium recently paid a visit to Soldier Field. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

A quartet of penguins from the Shedd Aquarium paid a visit to Soldier Field. Could this be the secret weapon the Bears need to take down the Packers during Sunday’s showdown?

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(Shedd Aquarium / Facebook)

With the city and Cook County under stay-at-home advisories due to COVID 19, the Shedd Aquarium has decided to close its doors through the remainder of the year, targeting Jan. 2 for reopening, the aquarium announced.

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Volunteers are needed for daily beach cleanups through Sept. 26. (Courtesy of Shedd Aquarium)

It might not be the day of your Coppertone dreams, but you can get a little sand between your toes by signing up for one or all of this week’s volunteer beach and shoreline cleanups.

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Monarch butterflies have started their 2,000-mile migration south to Mexico. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The annual migration of monarch butterflies is currently at its peak in the Chicago area. Several roosting sites have been spotted around town as the creatures use the city as a pit stop on their 2,000-mile journey to Mexico.

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Shedd Aquarium's animal care team is keeping a close on a new baby beluga, born Aug. 21. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

The Shedd announced the birth of a baby boy beluga, and is expecting a second beluga arrival any day. A Pacific white-sided dolphin is also due to give birth.

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Floating habitat being positioned on the Chicago River. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

Rafts loaded with plants floated down the Chicago River last week, a strange sight that in decades past might have been the result of some sort of bizarre garbage spill but these days is a sure sign of the waterway’s ongoing “re-wilding.”

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The Global FinPrint project is the first-ever worldwide survey of reef sharks. (Global FinPrint / Facebook)

Shedd Aquarium volunteer Betty Goldberg took citizen science to the next level, contributing a massive number of hours to a global survey of reef sharks.