Happy World Ocean Day! June 8th is World Ocean Day. For 2021, World Ocean Day is raising awareness and support to protect at least 30% of the world’s land, waters, and ocean by 2030. World Ocean Day has been coordinated and promoted by The Ocean Project since 2002. It is an annual celebration calling for ocean conservation action. Since 2009, World Ocean Day has been officially recognized by the United Nations.
Conserving our oceans is important
- The air we breathe: The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen. It absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere
- Climate regulation: The oceans regulate our climate and weather patterns by transporting heat from the equator to the poles.
- Transportation: 76% of all U.S. trade involves some form of marine transportation.
- Recreation: The ocean provides many unique recreational activities, from fishing to boating to kayaking and whale watching.
- Economic benefits: The U.S. ocean economy produces $282 billion in goods and services. Ocean-dependent businesses employ almost 3 million people.
- Food: The ocean provides more than just seafood for our dinner plate. Ingredients from the ocean are found in many foods such as peanut butter and soymilk.
- Medicine: Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
What will you do to conserve our oceans?
- Use less single-use plastic: Scientists think that about 8 million metric tons of plastic entered the ocean in 2010. That’s the weight of nearly 90 aircraft carriers. When possible don’t use single-use plastic that could end up in the landfill or as litter.
- Participate in a cleanup: Volunteer to help pick up litter on local beaches and in local parks before it gets into the ocean.
- Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle: Say no to what you don’t need. Let go of things that are no longer of use and donate or sell them. Switch from disposable to reusable items. Recycle what you can and know what you can recycle in your community.
- Leave only footprints: When heading to the beach or nearby waterway make sure you leave with everything that you brought. Dispose of any trash appropriately.
There are a variety of events you can join today with some listed on the World Ocean Day website. Or google what’s going on in your community today and this month and join a local event that’s celebrating World Ocean Day.
NOAA. Why should we care about the ocean? National Ocean Service website, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/why-care-about-ocean.html, 02/26/2021.
NOAA. A Guide to Plastic in the Ocean. National Ocean Service website, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/marinedebris/plastics-in-the-ocean.html, 02/26/2021.