If you’ve read my blog before you would know I love me some ocean. And you would also know that I have written about some of the pollution issues it’s facing…repeatedly.
I’ve written about our plastic problem enough that you are probably ready to punch me in the face. So to save you a little bit of reading, let me just say this to put things into perspective — a garbage truck load of plastic enters our oceans every minute and by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastic than fish. So there’s that.
I’ve also mentioned a little (and by little, I mean really, really big) thing called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — the massive patch of marine debris in our ocean that is now visible from space (and growing). Similarly, I’ve talked about the weird, random and disturbing places in the ocean that our plastic waste is ending up — the Arctic Ocean, the Mariana Trench and Henderson Island (a remote, unpopulated island located 3,100 miles away from any population center).
And I’ve talked about issues surrounding “ghost fishing” and “ghost gear,” in which 640,000 metric tons of discarded fishing gear are left in our oceans every year to wreak havoc on our ocean’s sea life.
But, not only is the ocean pretty to look at (#heygoodlookin), it’s actually also pretty frackin’ important (and by important I mean critical) to our survival. Our world’s oceans cover more than 71% of the planet, host up to 80% of life on earth, generate most of the oxygen we breathe, provide food and help regulate our climate, among other things.
So I gotta say, I think it’s also pretty frackin’ important for us to protect it.
Well good news — today is World Oceans Day, a global celebration of and collaboration for a better future for our oceans. World Oceans Day takes place every June 8, this year coinciding with the first ever United Nations Ocean Conference. It is meant to celebrate the ocean and it’s importance in our lives, as well as inspire more involvement in its protection and conservation.
The day, coordinated and promoted by The Ocean Project since 2002, is marked in a variety ways, including launching new campaigns and initiatives, special events at aquariums and zoos, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events.
This year’s theme, “Our Oceans, Our Future,” hopes to encourage solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.
So how can you get involved in World Oceans Day? Well, I’m glad you asked:
- Celebrate – Find or plan an event (who doesn’t like a good party?).
- Learn – Discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them and how we are all interconnected.
- Change your ways – Make small modifications to your everyday habits (use a reusable water bottle, say no to plastic straws/cutlery/etc., use your own coffee cup, say “buh bye” to plastic wrap and use reusable containers instead) . Better yet, help your friends/family do the same.
- Spread the word – Share what you’ve learned, post on social media, encourage others to think about what the ocean means to them and why we should preserve it. #WorldOceansDay
- Donate or even shop to help to the cause.
How will you be helping our oceans today and everyday?