World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated every year on the 8th of June since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was officially recognized by the United Nations in late 2008 and has been coordinated since 2003 by The Ocean Project, with greater participation each year.
World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honour the world’s oceans, celebrate the products the ocean provides and a time to appreciate its own intrinsic value. Global pollution and over-consumption of fish have resulted in drastically dwindling population of the majority of species. World Oceans Day also provides a unique opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean and its resources.
World Oceans Day events include a variety of activities and actions, such as special outdoor explorations, beach cleanups, educational and action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events.
THE WORLD OCEANS DAY THEME FOR 2015 – 2016 IS
“HEALTHY OCEANS, HEALTHY PLANET“
The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces most of the oxygen we breathe, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more! In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, it’s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us.
Everyone’s health depends on a clean, productive ocean. During celebrations this year, we are all encouraged to once again think about what actions each of us can take to safeguard vulnerable ocean communities. Please focus on whatever issues you think are most important for a healthy ocean future.
WHY CELEBRATE WORLD OCEANS DAY?
A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Every year, World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans. Oceans are very important:
- They generate most of the oxygen we breathe
- They help feed us
- They regulate our climate
- They clean the water we drink
- They offer a pharmacopoeia of medicines
- They provide limitless inspiration!
NOW EACH OF US CAN GIVE BACK
Participate in a World Oceans Day event or activity this year and help protect the ocean for the future! It’s up to each one of us to help ensure that our ocean is healthy for future generations. World Oceans Day allows us to:
- Change perspective – encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
- Learn – discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
- Change our ways – we are all linked to, and through, the ocean! By taking care of your backyard and helping in your community, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will make a difference, and involving your family, friends, and community will benefit our blue planet even more!
- Celebrate – whether you live inland or on the coast, we are all connected to the ocean. Take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our ocean.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
It’s fun and easy! This site was developed as a free resource for everyone around the world to use:
- Plan your event and submit it to the event listings
- Find a planned event to attend
- Spread the word about ocean conservation: Share it online
Despite the huge challenges facing the world’s ocean, by working together we can support a healthy ocean that is able to sustainably provide for the billions of humans, plants, and animals that depend on it every day. On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, community, and the planet to start creating a better future. Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean.