World Oceans Day is June 8 — it’s a time to celebrate the oceans and take steps to protect ocean health. Why celebrate the oceans? Whether you live on the coast or inland, we are all intimately connected to the oceans. The organizers of this year’s event are asking people to help spread awareness by taking a Selfie for the Sea. If you live near a beach, take a photograph of yourself cleaning it. Even if you don’t, try a selfie with a written promise to engage in an ocean-friendly activity. Post your photo to social media with the hashtag #WorldOceansDay.
Not into selfies? Just wear blue to celebrate the day!
Also, many zoos and aquariums are hosting special events for World Oceans Day. Check out a calendar of all the events at the link here.
Why celebrate Earth’s oceans at all? Whether you live near a coast, or not, we are all intimately connected with the oceans. Here are some of the ways:
- Oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface, and they hold 97% of our planet’s water.
- The oceans help feed us and provide most of the oxygen that we breathe.
- Oceans also play a key role in regulating the weather and climate. Water evaporating from the oceans falls inland as rain, which we then use to drink and grow crops.
- A variety of life saving medicinal compounds including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs have been discovered in the oceans.
- The oceans provide us with abundant opportunities for recreation and inspiration.
The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is:
Together we have the power to protect the ocean.
Threats to the oceans include pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and rising ocean acidity due to the extensive use of fossil fuels. While these are indeed daunting problems, there are simple steps that you can to take to help protect the ocean.
For example, always recycle and use reusable water bottles and grocery bags to help reduce plastic pollution. You can reduce your carbon footprint by turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use and purchasing energy efficient products in the future. Making sustainable seafood choices is one of the most important things you can to do protect marine life, and there are now sustainable seafood guides available for many countries around the world.
Canada first proposed the concept for World Oceans Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In December 2008, a United Nations resolution designated June 8 of each year as World Oceans Day.
Bottom line: World Oceans Day is June 8. It is an annual event that is designed to encourage people to celebrate the oceans and take steps to protect ocean health. Take a selfie and post to social media to celebrate … or just wear blue on Sunday! Hope to see you wearing blue on Sunday for World Oceans Day.
Deanna Conners is an Environmental Scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Toxicology and an M.S. in Environmental Studies. Her interest in toxicology stems from having grown up near the Love Canal Superfund Site in New York. Her current work is to provide high-quality scientific information to the public and decision-makers and to help build cross-disciplinary partnerships that help solve environmental problems. She writes about Earth science and nature conservation for EarthSky.