World Oceans Day, June 8
Over 71% of the Earth’s surface is composed of the world’s oceans. Over 97% of the planet’s water is in the oceans. Today, June 8 is World Ocean’s Day, a day meant to celebrate and dedicate ourselves to protecting our oceans and their health. The idea of dedicating this day to the oceans put forward in a proposal by Canada in 1992 at the Earth Day Summit in Rio de Janiero. By December, 2008, a United Nations resolution proposed that World Oceans Day be celebrated on June 8. World Oceans Day is a day of awareness, however the whole year provides us with many opportunities to not only increase our awareness but also to act to preserve and improve the health of our oceans.
What are some of the ways you and your children and grandchildren can learn more about the oceans? How can you take an active role in working to save and improve the health of our seas? World Ocean’s Day has set up a website where you can discover how to get more involved. This year’s theme is “Youth: the Next Wave of Change”. Their website has some excellent resources, ideas, and ways you can get involved. Click here to view their video, Celebrate World Ocean Day
In addition to covering most of the Earth, the oceans play a significant role in climate and weather for all regions of the planet. The seas are full of diverse and beautiful plant and animal life. It is one of our most valuable resources. Exploration of this vast resource has resulted in advances in medicine, food, and fuel resources. The ocean also provides a wealth of economic and recreational opportunities. For those of us who love mysteries, the ocean is yet to be explored in many areas.
The oceans are threatened by pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and other changes resulting from climate change. One of the biggest problems facing the health of our oceans is the lack of awareness on the part of the general public (that’s most people) of just how serious an issue environmental problems affecting our oceans is. Nearly half (40%) of the people polled by the World Oceans Day organization said they thought there was no threat to the oceans. For those of us who live in coastal regions like San Francisco and other Central California cities and towns, we may be more aware of the problems. Recently, along the Northern California and Oregon coast, debris from last year’s Tsunami in Japan has begun washing up on our beaches and shores. We need to remain vigilant, and help raise the awareness of others by getting involved.
Learn more about the oceans by visiting the World Oceans Day Website. There you can sign up to learn more about the oceans by participating in ongoing events. Visit the local Aquarium of the Bay here in San Francisco, and learn what local zoos, museums, and schools are doing to raise awareness of the oceans. Take a trip to the beach with your children and grandchildren, and take a long some trash bags to pick up some litter while you’re walking along the beach. Wear blue today to show your solidarity with World Ocean Day, and do simple things like using reusable water bottles, not wasting water, and joining with others in annual beach clean up days.
If you are one who uses and enjoys the beauty and benefits of the ocean, particularly if you are in one of the top five sports users of the ocean: Surfers, Swimmers, Divers, Sailors, or Paddlers, who all use the water, in, on, and under, World Oceans Now is the time to give back by communicating, cleaning up, and creating more ways to work for ocean clean up. Go to your favorite cove or beach, and clean it up. Check out the areas around the docks, jetties, and harbors where you are, and organize a clean up day with others in your neighborhood. Day organizers say we have an IOU (in, on, under) to the ocean. Athletes, beach combers, and all who walk along the Embarcadero, beaches, and shores around the Bay, wear blue, and tell two of your friends about World Oceans Day and the importance of everyone doing more than their share to keep our oceans clean and healthy.