Friday, June 8th is World Oceans Day, an event aimed at celebrating the ocean and raising awareness about the need to protect ocean health.
The concept for World Oceans Day was first proposed by Canada in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In December 2008, a United Nations resolution designated June 8th of each year as World Oceans Day.
The Ocean Poject and the World Ocean Network have helped to promote and coordinate World Oceans Day since 2002. These organizations work with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, schools and businesses to plan World Oceans Day activities around the world.
During World Oceans Day, people are encouraged to learn about the ocean and think about what the ocean means to them with the hopes of conserving it for present and future generations.
The ocean is one of Earth’s most precious resources. It covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and holds 97% of our planets water. The ocean plays an integral role in regulating our climate and weather. Many diverse and beautiful creatures inhabit the ocean. The ocean provides us with food, medicine and various other economic and recreational opportunities. Much of the ocean still remains unexplored.
Presently, the health of the ocean is being threatened by pollution, overfishing, invasive species and rising ocean acidity due to climate change. Another troubling issue is that when people were asked by World Oceans Day organizers about how much of an impact they thought they could have on solving our environmental problems, 40% of respondents replied “none” or “not very much.”
To help demonstrate that individual people can have a significant impact on solving environmental problems, event organizers are encouraging people to participate in any one of the hundreds of activities posted on the World Oceans Day website. They are also urging people to wear blue on Friday to help raise awareness about the ocean, and to commit to practicing simple steps that can protect the ocean such as picking up trash at your local beach and drinking from reusable water bottles.
Bill Mott, director of the The Ocean Project, said:
A record number of aquariums, zoos, and museums are providing ways on World Oceans Day for their visitors to get inspired and take personal action to help our world’s ocean. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity for people across the country and around the world to celebrate our ocean connections, do more for ocean conservation, and learn more about our ocean!
Alyssa Isakower, World Oceans Day coordinator, commented that the worldwide response to the event has been more enthusiastic than ever.
In honor of World Oceans Day, New York City’s Empire State Building will be lit on the evening of June 8th in white, blue and purple. The colors are meant to symbolize the different layers of the ocean. White represents the shallow sunlight waters and the polar ice cap. Blue represents the expansive ocean waters that cover the planet, and purple represents the deepest reaches of the ocean.
Bottom line: Friday, June 8th is World Oceans Day, an event aimed at celebrating the ocean and raising awareness about the need to protect ocean health. During World Oceans Day, people are encouraged to learn about the ocean and think about what the ocean means to them with the hopes of conserving it for present and future generations.