SeaWorld has come under fire again -- this time for its treatment of wildlife, not its captive orca whales. The company's San Diego location, which hosts fireworks displays from March to September, is being criticized for polluting the bay where the fireworks explode, harming the wildlife that live there.
The park has 79 firework shows planned for this year, to be held over San Diego's Mission Bay, a saltwater bay that is known to be home to many endangered species of birds.
It's well established that fireworks are something of an environmental disaster for wildlife. The chemical reactions that happen to create bursts of color -- strontium and lithium burn red, copper burns blue, magnesium, titanium and aluminum make white sparks, boric acid makes green -- release numerous byproducts, like cancer-causing dioxins. And the gunpowder used to launch them leaves a slew of chemicals behind it as well -- potassium carbonate, potassium sulphate and sulphide, unreacted sulphur and fine particulates.