Written by: Annie Muggia, intern at Blueland
April 25, 2022
Each year, thousands of people gather to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 5th. It is a day to celebrate our oceans by taking action, no matter how small. Some people spend this day picking up trash on the beach, joining a protest to support climate change, or donating to ocean conservation organizations (to name a few!). While taking care of our oceans should not be limited to a day, it is a great way to come together as a community and raise awareness for oceans.
How did World Oceans Day Start?
World Oceans Day was first created on June 8, 1992, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Global Forum. An event organized by the Oceans Institute of Canada proposed celebrating Oceans Day to support a “blue planet”. Speeches from ocean conservation leaders and sustainability experts helped influence this decision to dedicate June 5th of each year to celebrating oceans.
Why is Celebrating Oceans Important?
In recent years, levels of plastic waste on the Arctic seafloor are rising at an alarming rate. According to the European Commission, about 10% of all plastics produced in the world end up in the oceans. Studies show that “even remote areas of the ocean are affected by increasing levels of plastic waste on the seafloor.” Furthermore, their research found that humans are a direct source of excess litter (primarily plastics) residing in the oceans. This also puts the marine ecosystems and coral reefs at great risk, as microplastics are frequently found in fish. The European Commission found that 67% of the litter resided in oceans affected sea life in some way. The seafloor covers approximately 60% of the Earth’s surface, so it is critical to preserve and sustain ocean health.
How Can I Get Involved With World Ocean’s Day?
There are countless ways to celebrate World Oceans Day, including signing petitions, joining beach clean-ups and other ocean conservation events, and engaging in protests. The World Oceans Day organization recently set a goal of protecting at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. You can support this mission, #Protect30x30, by signing their petition for world leaders to consider supporting this goal. Scientists have determined that protecting 30% of our planet’s life systems (ocean, climate, and biodiversity) is critical for our future. You can help by supporting this organization and signing their petitions to support 30x30.
A large part of supporting the environment and oceans is engaging with these value-based communities. If others see you doing your part, there is a greater chance they will do theirs!