Next week is World Oceans Day. We are posting this blog early to give you some ideas of how you can get involved and contribute to this important event in the environmental calendar.
Officially recognised by the UN in 2008, World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8th every year. Its aim is for people across the world to unite and act for sustainable management of the world’s oceans. Many individuals and organisations hold events that will contribute to protecting the seas for a better future. This year the conservation action focus is Life and Livelihoods: to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters and ocean by 2030, for a healthy ocean and climate. It coincides with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Why are the Oceans so important?
- They absorb approximately 30% of the CO2 we produce
- They regulate the climate
- They are a source of medicine
- They generate at least half of the world’s oxygen
- They are a major food source, especially for coastal communities
- They provide jobs for millions of people worldwide
- 90% of all volcanic activity happens IN the ocean
- Scientists estimate that 91% of ocean species are yet to be classified, while over 80% of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored!
How can I get involved?
There may be events happening near you or at your local dive centre such as a beach clean up or a Project AWARE Dive Against Debris. If not, organise something yourself! There are resources and a toolkit available on the World Ocean Day website. Otherwise, see below for some inspiration:
- Host a community clean up
- Hold an art, photography or writing contest and display the work in your local library, pub or community centre. Ask local businesses to donate prizes
- Create a competition on social media
- Do a Facebook fundraiser or donate to a marine NGO
- Educate your kids or – if you are a teacher – your pupils. There are some great resources and activities available on NOAA Ocean Today and Twinkl from early years up to age 16
- Reduce your single use plastics, reduce energy and use less water
- Recycle more. Ask your company or school if they would consider having a Terracyle account. They recycle much of what your local authority does not
- Sign the petition to get world leaders to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030; to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and ensure the living planet is sustainably managed.