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Discovery Channel asks Shark Week viewers to be donors, too

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/19/2017
This undated image released by Discovery Channel shows a great white shark. The channel's annual Shark Week will include requests to support Oceana, an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation. Shark Week's opening lineup Sunday includes "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Olympian Michael Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark. (Discovery Channel via AP) © The Associated Press This undated image released by Discovery Channel shows a great white shark. The channel's annual Shark Week will include requests to support Oceana, an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation. Shark Week's opening lineup Sunday includes "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Olympian Michael Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark. (Discovery Channel via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Discovery Channel wants Shark Week viewers to be donors as well.

FILE - In this July 13, 2017 file photo, retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps arrives at the Kids' Choice Sports Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Discovery Channel's Shark Week's opening lineup Sunday, July 23, includes "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 13, 2017 file photo, retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps arrives at the Kids' Choice Sports Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Discovery Channel's Shark Week's opening lineup Sunday, July 23, includes "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," with Phelps testing his speed against that of a great white shark. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

The channel's annual celebration of all things shark will include requests to support Oceana, an advocacy group focused on ocean conservation.

Viewers can use their smartphones to donate and also to receive Shark Week program information, said technology company Pledgling, which is working with Discovery on the Oceana fundraising.

By texting the word "SHARK" to 707070, participants will get a return message that includes a Pledgling link for Oceana donations that can be made by Apple Pay or by credit card.

"We've streamlined the entire experience to capture that moment in time when somebody feels compelled to donate" and it's made it easy for them, Pledgling CEO James Citron said. The company also is working with Discovery on Project CAT, an initiative to support the World Wildlife Fund's effort to increase the tiger population in the wild by conserving protected land.

Shark Week's opening lineup Sunday includes "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White" (8 p.m. EDT), in which Olympian Michael Phelps tests his speed against that of a great white shark.

The week includes "Return to the Isle of Jaws" on Monday and back-to-back episodes Tuesday of "Sharks and the City," one set off the coast of Los Angeles and the other off New York.

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