Celebrating World Oceans Day and Making a Difference for Our Blue Planet | Net Impact

Celebrating World Oceans Day and Making a Difference for Our Blue Planet

Celebrating World Oceans Day and Making a Difference for Our Blue Planet | Net Impact

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil, Canada and the International Centre for Ocean Development proposed the concept of “World Oceans Day” in order to raise awareness and public interest in the protection and management of the oceans and its resources. In the years since, the damage, pollution, and desecration of our oceans have become painfully clear to more and more people. 

Now, as we celebrate our oceans (or, rather, our one big ocean) on June 8th, 2021, the concept of World Oceans Day continues to gain ground and facilitate change for the better. So, no matter what your line of work is, there are plenty of ways to leverage your desire to propel actions that can create positive impact for our planet.

The History, the Movement

In 2002, The Ocean Project took the concept proposed at the Earth Summit a decade earlier and began spreading the word in earnest about celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8th.

After a multi-year campaign by The Ocean Project, the World Ocean Network, and other partner organizations, the United Nations officially recognized World Oceans Day in 2008. In 2016 the World Oceans Youth Advisory Council was launched in order to give young people around the world a way to get directly involved in protecting the environment. By 2019, World Oceans Day was celebrated with over 2000 events in 140 countries.

Why World Oceans Day Matters

For perspective, here are current stats and predictions: 

  • It’s estimated that 8 million tons of plastic enter our ocean every year.
  • By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. 
  • The size and number of ocean “dead zones” increases every year.
  • Around 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their primary dietary intake of protein. If marine life continues to be damaged by pollution, this food source could dwindle and suffer from over-fishing
  • 80% of ocean pollution comes from land-based areas/sources. 
  • According to The Ocean Cleanup, the great Pacific garbage patch covers 1.6 million square kilometers, which is roughly twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France.
  • Plastic in the ocean isn’t biodegradable. Instead, it breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, all the while causing damage to marine life and the fragile ocean ecology.

By taking action, we can help restore marine ecosystems. But it’s not just the oceans themselves we need to worry about. Since most of the pollution affecting the ocean comes from land, taking action in your city can also have a huge impact. And a healthy ocean can help us combat climate change

How to Get Involved in World Ocean Day 2021

There are plenty of options available for those who want to make a change for the oceans and the environment:

  • Sign the 30x30 Petition
    • You can sign the petition as an individual or an organization to show your support for protecting 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030. This can rally governments around the world to take action to prevent further marine pollution and clean up the existing trash in oceans. 
  • Find an Activity in Your Community
    • If you want to attend a World Oceans Day 2021 activity, you can search for one near you here. These activities are held by ocean conservation organizations, save the ocean organizations, ocean charities, companies across industries, and concerned citizens. 
  • Host an Activity
    • If there’s no event near you, there are plenty of resources and toolkits to help you host your own. These activities can bring awareness to World Oceans Day while simultaneously helping you and your organization gain awareness.

Every Day is World Oceans Day

Thinking globally and acting locally is a great way to make a difference. Reducing your use of plastics and purchasing items with biodegradable packaging are two ways you can contribute to reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. More needs to be done by communities, business, and individuals to preserve our planet and avoid disaster.

World Oceans Day Q&A

How Can I Celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8th?

The UN is holding an all-virtual ocean tour.The virtual event will feature celebrities, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, institutional partners, and those from communities around the world. You can visit the official UN website here.  

Does Recycling Really Help The Oceans?

Yes, but recycling your plastic isn’t the best way to help the ocean as a consumer — reducing your overall use of plastic is. Of course, completely eliminating plastic from your life isn’t possible. Not yet, anyway. But, if you use reusable grocery bags and water bottles, and search for items with biodegradable packaging, you can do your part to reduce plastic pollution. 

I Don’t Live Near an Ocean, Can I Still Help?

Most of the pollution in the ocean today got there from inland sources via rivers and streams. It’s going to take people and companies all over the world — landlocked or not — to reduce marine pollution.