Did you know that this past June 8th was World Oceans Day? The theme of World Ocean Day 2015 was “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.” The focus of this year’s theme was to show how a healthy ocean is connected to a healthy planet and to encourage people to make small changes for the sake of protecting the planet.
As many people are unaware of this day, here is a splash of history on World Oceans Day:
World Oceans Day started back in 2002 in partnership with several organizations, including the World Ocean Network and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. In 2008, the United Nations officially recognized World Oceans Day.
World Oceans Day was founded to raise awareness to how oceans connect everybody in the world. Aims of World Ocean Day include changing perspectives of how people view the ocean and ocean conservation, teaching about the habitats and creatures of the ocean, inspiring people to change their behaviors to help the ocean, and celebrating the beauty and wonder of our oceans.
Now, having a single day out of the year to celebrate the ocean, which covers 71% of the earth’s surface and is essential for the survival of all mankind, is not enough.—especially when a large portion of the world population is unaware of the existence of the day to begin with. A day of announcing ocean trivia, sharing ocean photography, and highlighting dangers to the ocean is important to raising awareness, but not nearly enough to even begin to harpoon the complex set of issues and threats that the ocean faces.
Helping the ocean and all of its inhabitants requires great public support. International cooperation is necessary to untangle ocean protection from the net of political, economic, and religious issues. Celebration of oceans should not be confined to a single day, but should become an integrated aspect of our daily lives. What else produces half the oxygen we breathe, absorbs a third of the carbon dioxide we generate, and provides delicious nutritious fish?
Not only on World Ocean Day, but every day, remember to turn off your lights, take your own reusable bags when you go shopping, go for a nice bike ride instead of taking the bus once in a while, and try to eat only sustainable seafood, for the sake of our beautiful oceans. And don’t forget to go enjoy a dip in the big blue ocean!