Disney Conservation and Sustainability: The Latest Updates

by | Mar 14, 2024 | News Outside the Parks

Our comprehensive guide to the latest updates from Disney Conservation and the sustainability of the Walt Disney Company as a whole. 

Since 1995, Disney Conservation has directed over $125 million to organizations to help save wildlife and protect the planet. This is particularly evident at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a park with an ethos directed at conservation and saving wildlife. The Disney Conservation team leads “best-in-class scientific programs to conserve wildlife in Disney’s backyard and beyond.” We’ll be sharing the latest updates from their incredible work, as well as the sustainability work that The Walt Disney Company continues to do as a whole.

2024 Earth Day at Walt Disney World

In honor of Earth Day, Disney shared a handful of fascinating facts about their work in conservation at Disney properties. This included:

  • Disney World is home to 300 species and 5,000 animals: Disney is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has worked with experts to help increase the population of endangered and threatened species by following the AZA Species Survival Plans (SSP). In the past year, they’ve welcomed cotton-top tamarins, an okapi, a yellow-backed duiker, and an African elephant calf.
  • 20,000 Sea Turtle Nests at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort: Disney Cast Members have helped to monitor and record more than 20,000 sea turtle nests at Disney’s Vero Beach.
  • 75 Unique Pollinators Throughout Walt Disney World: The Disney Conservation team has collaborated with partners to expand habitats for pollionators across DIsney World. One of the most recent pollinator-friendly gardens is near a 270-acre 50-megawatt solar facility, which opened a few years ago. Throughout Disney World, they have shown more than 75 species of pollinators using these habitats.

How Disney’s Glass Pulverizer is Helping Plant Life

In 2022, Walt Disney World installed a glass pulverizer that helps to return recycled glass into a sand-like material. Currently, that pulverized glass is being reused across Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, including on the horse trails. And the pulverizer pilot program has continued to expand.

glass pulverizer fort wilderness disney

Photo Courtesy of Disney

Currently, recycled glass from select locations in EPCOT is being brought to the pulverizer at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground, where pulverized glass is being used as a substitute for coquina material in the greenhouses. The material is spread across greenhouse floors and acts as a pass-through for multiple daily waterings, helping the ecoystem to flourish. It’s an exciting way to know that the glass you recycle in Disney World lives on in a variety of ways!

Florida Coral Rescue Center Marks Four Years of Work

Miles away from Walt Disney World, Disney has been working on a project over on Florida’s coast. Over the past four years, a team of Disney aquatic wildlife experts has been working with other conservationists to help save Florida’s coral reefs from the spread of stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), which has put 22 coral species at risk of extinction.

coral rescue, disney conservation

Photo Courtesy of Disney

The Orlando-based Florida Coral Rescue Center is a state-of-the-art facility that cares for corals that are most at risk of this disease. The Florida Coral Rescue Center corals will play a part in future restoration plans for Florida’s coral reef, which scientists say has become a widespread issue due to SCTLD. The Center’s breeding program focuses on creating genetic diversity of offspring and providing baby corals to the reefs. Disney is one of the accredited groups helping lead the charge and fund the facility in coral conservation alongside the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Since opening in 2020, the FCRC has helped provide a safe and stable environment for over 500 coral colonies.

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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