World Ocean Day:
World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated every 8 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. It has been coordinated since 2003 by The Ocean Project, with greater participation each year.
World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This site serves as the central coordinating platform for World Oceans Day, with free resources and ideas for everyone – no matter where you live – to help expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8 and year round.
This year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” and individuals and organizations across the planet are taking action for prevention of plastic pollution in our ocean.
World Oceans Day has grown tremendously each year since The Ocean Project started coordinating it in 2002. With hundreds of partners involved, and the United Nations officially recognizing June 8 as World Oceans Day in 2008, we have reached millions worldwide.
World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honour the world’s oceans, celebrate the products the ocean provides such as seafood as well as marine life itself for aquariums, pets and a time to appreciate its own intrinsic value. The ocean also provides sea-lanes for international trade. 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.
The Ocean Project, working in partnership with the World Ocean Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many other partners in its network of 2,000 organizations, has been promoting World Oceans Day since 2003. 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 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 oxygen, 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.Plastic pollution is a serious threat because it degrades very slowly, polluting waterways for a very long time. In addition, plastic pollution impacts the health of aquatic animals because animals including zooplankton mistake the microbeads for food. Scientists also fear health impacts for humans.
Around eight million tonnes of plastic washes into our seas every year, polluting our waterways and threatening our marine ecosystem. The scale of contamination is immense, stretching across all our planet’s oceans from the equator to the polar regions. Plastics, from bags to bottles, also litter our beaches – affecting the health and well-being of animals, plants and humans.
This year’s theme for World Oceans Day, marked on 8 June, is “healthy oceans, healthy planet” – to raise awareness of the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our wildlife, climate and health.
What is plastic pollution?
Millions of tonnes of plastic debris such as bags, bottles and food packaging is dumped into our oceans annually. As the items degrade slowly, they pollute waterways for a long period. Living organisms are also affected badly by plastic waste, through ingestion, becoming entangled in them or from exposure to chemicals in the plastic which imperil biological functions.
In a United Nations report published in May, scientists have also warned the chemicals in the plastic – or the chemicals which are attracted to the plastic in the natural environment – could lead to poisoning, infertility and genetic disruption in marine life and potentially humans if ingested in high quantities.Even the smallest pieces of plastic can have a disastrous impact on our seas. Microbeads, made from polyethylene or other petrochemical plastics, are found in thousands of cosmetic and domestic products from toothpastes to household cleaners. Small enough to wash down the sink and breach water filtration systems, hundreds of thousands of microbeads end up in the ocean where they are ingested by marine creatures.