World Oceans Day
By Angel Collins
Today, June 8, we celebrate World Oceans Day, and this year’s theme is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.”
So, what is World Oceans Day? It is an organization of like-minded people around the world that celebrate and honor the oceans that connect us all. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Canada, World Oceans Day began as a concept to unite people that were passionate about protecting and restoring our oceans around the world. It has grown throughout the years; it was officially recognized by the United Nations in December 2008, and the plural was added to make it World Oceans Day. Last year more than 2,000 events happened in more than 140 countries. This year’s goal is to launch a new website, and have more than 3,000 events in more than 150 countries.
As stated on the World Oceans Day blog:
“The 2020 Focus of World Oceans Day is uniting conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This critical need is called 30×30. By safeguarding at least 30% of our land and ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure a healthy home for all!”
So, what can we do to help this movement? Go to the website and sign the petition: worldoceansday.org.
Also, on the website are links to all the World Oceans Day events around the world. Many are online this year; this includes art contests and festivals, youth events, music events, educational events, cleanups scheduled all over the world as well as pledge events. On the World Oceans Day blog, they describe themselves as Passionate about the ocean, powered by people worldwide.
This link takes you to the resources available, including a beautiful poster dedicated to show how “You can help turtles have a safe home in the ocean.” Other wonderful resources are also available showcasing dolphins, sharks, seals, whales, rays, and more.
Today also marks the start of Sea Turtle Week, and the Sea Turtle Preservation Society will celebrate with a nine-day virtual event leading up to World Sea Turtle Day on June 16. Visit our website to learn more about the activities, giveaways and more that are planned.
While we at Sea Turtle Preservation Society focus on helping sea turtles survive, we know that can’t happen if the oceans of the world don’t survive. World Oceans Day helps bring attention to the many problems of the oceans of the world. Pollution is the most notable, but just the beginning. Much of the pollution is leading to micro- and macroplastic pollution that is affecting all ocean life as well as the lives of seabirds and humans. According to Ecowatch: Marine scientists from the National University of Ireland in Galway found bits of plastic in 73 percent of 233 deep-sea fish collected from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean—one of the highest microplastic frequencies in fish ever recorded worldwide. While it seems to all be overwhelming, please remember that we can always do something to help. Caring is the first step.
To help everyone stay safe this year many virtual events are available for World Oceans Day, including many educational events, art projects and youth involvement events. Find some to check out here.
Other ways to help our oceans include conserve water, reduce pollutants, pick up trash and debris, reduce single-use plastic items, fish responsibly, practice safe boating, and walk or bike to cut vehicle pollution. Share what you know about the importance of oceans with others.