• Marineland’s New Lease Causes Waves

    On the first day of Marineland’s 52nd season, staff and guests alike were stunned as 1,000 protestors gathered to promote their anti-captivity campaign against the park. Among the largest complaints this year: the park’s “standard care” practice, aquarium water quality, and insufficient staffing. After amending six orders for change issued by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Marineland officials wished to bury the hatchet and move forward. Unfortunately, now that Niagara’s City Council has approved a land-lease extension, protestors feel threatened and are crying out for support.

    The land leased to Marineland includes the area near the WeGo bus stop as well as the Portage Road entrance to the park. Ideally, occupying this space will deter any future protests from disturbing guests and park residents. But this may actually provoke future outbursts, rather than prevent them. Anti-captivity activists feel at loss due to these new restrictions and will likely stand up to them. With recent lawsuits in the news, tension in the city continues to escalate.

    Although passed by the Council, many councilors do not support the decision to lease new land to Marineland. Undeniably, Marineland is a huge tourist attraction, but some officials believe that animal captivity is not the proper image for the area. While law enforcement can now subdue protests in the future, this certainly is not the end of this on-going activist issue in Niaraga.

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