World Ocean Day

Written by on May 29, 2009 in Policy & Ocean Law

 Editor’s Note — This piece expresses the opinion of the editor and writers here at Marine Science Today.  We usually just stick to reporting the latest news and developments, but sometimes you can’t keep your opinion out of your writing.  We think World Ocean Day is an important opportunity to begin to expand public awareness of the profound role of our oceans in the future environmental health of our planet.  We hope you’ll consider getting involved in whatever way you can.

World Ocean Day

June 8th is World Ocean Day – celebrated since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and declared officially in December 2008 by the United Nations (A/RES/63/111).

World Ocean Map - Source: Wikipedia

World Ocean Map – Source: Wikipedia

World Ocean Day is an annual celebration, awareness raising, and a call for action to all organizations and individuals to protect the word’s oceans.  It provides an opportunity each year for individuals and groups to get directly involved in protecting our future, through a new mindset and personal and community action and involvement.  Beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable seafood events, and other planned activities help to raise consciousness of how our lives depend on the ocean.

The Ocean Project, working closely with the World Ocean Network  each year, helps to coordinate events and activities with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, businesses.   They work hard to bring local and global attention to the impact climate change is having on the ocean, what that impact will mean for ocean and human life, and how we can all make simple, important changes to reduce our CO2 emissions, halt climate change, and preserve our children’s ocean legacy.

2009 Theme:  “one ocean, one climate, one future”

Earth - Source: NASA

Earth – Source: NASA

While many people remain largely unaware of the key connections between a healthy ocean, a healthy climate, and our future, momentum is growing and positive changes are taking place.  Increasing numbers of people are calling on their governments to take action on the climate crisis.  A movement is growing, according to World Ocean Day organizers.

Individuals are invited to live World Ocean Day consciously; reflect on what the ocean means to them and what they can do to protect and conserve it for the future, discover it by either getting wet themselves or visiting aquariums that will teach about marine life and help raise awareness.

The Ocean Project recommends ways to take personal action now:

  • Forward this information to your friends and family – spreading the word is one of the most important things you can do right now.
  • Check out the World Ocean Day action poster for simple things you can do to cut your CO2 emissions and celebrate the ocean.
  • Plan a World Ocean Day event or participate in one near you.
  • Use the World Ocean Day media and outreach kit to help spread the word about climate change and the ocean.
  • Send in stories about how you or your groups are helping to make a real difference, they will share your success story with the world –  info@theoceanproject.org

Replanting marsh grass near Annapolis - NOAA's America's Coastlines Collection - Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist

Replanting marsh grass near Annapolis – NOAA’s America’s Coastlines Collection – Photographer: Mary Hollinger, NODC biologist

Since the oceans are one of our planet’s most influential natural resources, they provide oxygen, regulate our climate , are a basic source of food and provide work for a large number of industries and are therefore an unyielding vital part of our future, we also encourage you to invite a group of people you love and:

  • clean the beach, clean up a section of your favorite shore and then
  • throw a beach party, a sustainable seafood feast
  • comb the beach, learn about all interesting residents in the tidal zone
  • throw a movie party, show an ocean-themed movie for friends and neighbors
  • throw a drawing party, have your guests draw a picture expressing what about the ocean is important to them and have them vote for the best one at the end of the day
  • participate at one of the many World Oceans Day events organized by various official and private institutions in your community – you can find a large list of worldwide events at The Ocean Project, chose your country and find your activity

Our living ocean

Our living ocean

Did you know the world’s ocean:

  • Half the world’s oxygen is produced by tiny ocean plankton?
  • Helps feed us?
  • Regulates our climate?
  • Cleans the water we drink?
  • Offers us a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines?
  • Oceans cover 75% of the planet and only 1% of the ocean is protected?
  • Squid the size of school buses live deep in the sea?
  • Fish supply the greatest percentage of protein consumed by humans?
  • The oceans are the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms?
  • Some rockfish can live up to 200 years, outliving humans, elephants and turtles?
  • The ocean’s ecosystems are threatened by overexploitation, contamination and the uncontrolled human activities on the oceans and beaches?
  • The Oceans riches are humanity’s legacy?

Let us all together celebrate our personal connection to the world oceans and commit to conscious personal dedication to ensure a sustainable future.  Helping make others more aware of the importance of the ocean in our lives and taking the opportunities each of us has to help through our daily actions we can make a real difference for our one ocean, one climate, and one future!

Hawaii - Source: NOAA's America's Coastline Collection

Hawaii – Source: NOAA’s America’s Coastline Collection

Based on materials from The Oceans Project website.

 Copyright ©  2009 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC

About the Author

About the Author: Celia is Director of Business Operations for OceanLines LLC and is a frequent contributor to both OceanLines and Marine Science Today. She is a certified diver and her favorite topic is marine biology, especially stories about whales. .

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