What Is World Oceans Day?:
The idea of a day to celebrate the ocean was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro by the Government of Canada. The day was unofficially celebrated until 2009, when the United Nations officially declared June 8 of each year World Oceans Day.
According to The Ocean Project, World Oceans Day "provides an opportunity each year to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea."
Why Celebrate the Oceans?:
I imagine if you're on this site, you already think the oceans are important. And you're right! The oceans are important in so many ways, from broader-scale things like regulating climate, producing oxygen and absorbing excess carbon dioxide, to providing food and great recreation opportunities. Another reason to celebrate the oceans is the beauty they exhibit, from colorful coral reefs to majestic whales.
Thinking strictly from a human perspective, the oceans also provide medicines and other resources such as minerals and perhaps even a viable drinking water source in the future. Some scientists are even exploring the potential of "mari-fuels" - turning algae into biofuels.
How Can You Help the Oceans?:
You can start by recognizing World Oceans Day and thinking about what the ocean and its inhabitants mean to you. Here are some other suggestions:
- Learn more about the oceans, and the amazing diversity of marine life they support. Clicking around this site is a good place to start!
- Do something simple to help marine life, such as choosing sustainable seafood, disposing of fishing line properly, and never throwing your trash (even a tiny cigarette butt) into the ocean.
- Wear Blue and Tell Two: This catchy slogan coined by The Ocean Project asks ocean lovers to wear blue on June 8 and tell others two things they don't know about the ocean and how they can help. There's an easy, concrete step you can take to protecting the oceans.
- Experience the ocean, even if it's through visiting a local aquarium.
- Participate in a World Oceans Day event: Check local events here.
Happy World Oceans Day! Are you celebrating this day? Have an event or idea you'd like to share? Tell me about it.