World Ocean Day
- When is World Ocean Day and what is it about?
- The 2021 theme and the decade theme of the Ocean Day celebration
- Did you know?
- The importance of the ocean for sustaining a habitable climate
- The ocean provides nourishment and medicine
- The importance of the ocean to the U.S. economy
- How to help keep the ocean clean and sustainable
- What to do for World Ocean Day
- Key Takeaways
The ocean is a vital part of sustaining life of all forms on Earth. We simply cannot survive without it! This is why the U.N. has created World Ocean Day, which aims to educate and bring awareness to the devastation that human activity has caused to the ocean, and what we can do about it to create a better future for our planet.
When is World Ocean Day and what is it about?
The U.N. has designed June 8 as World Ocean Day. The aim of the holiday is to remind people of the importance of the ocean for sustaining life on the planet and what you can do to help preserve this essential natural resource.
The 2021 theme and the decade theme of the Ocean Day celebration
The official theme for Ocean Day 2021 is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.” The goal for the new decade is to achieve the stated U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 14, which is to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” What this means is strengthening international collaboration in new technologies and scientific research that connects global commerce with the ocean sciences.
Currently, the U.N. strategy to accomplish Goal 14 is specifically focused on working with the international community to put more resources into combating illegal fishing activity which is harmful to the sustainability of the world’s fish population.
Did you know?
- The ocean covers 70 percent of the world’s surface
- More people have been to the moon than to the deepest part of the ocean
- About 94 percent of life on Earth is aquatic
- Around two-thirds of ocean life has yet to be identified
The importance of the ocean for sustaining a habitable climate
Without the ocean there would be no human species. The ocean is what makes the Earth habitable for humans and other living beings in the first place.
First, the ocean is responsible for creating the majority of the oxygen that humans need to live. The ocean also stores over 50 times more carbon dioxide than the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s responsible for the air needed for humans to breathe and plant life to thrive.
The ocean is also the most significant mechanism our planet uses to regulate the climate which allows the Earth to continue to be habitable. The ocean plays a key role in circulating heat from the equator to the polar regions. This moderates the Earth’s weather and climate patterns.
The ocean provides nourishment and medicine
One of the more obvious benefits the ocean has to human society is providing nourishment in the form of seafood. However, ingredients for many other common foods are actually sourced from the sea as well. Many items such as peanut butter and soy milk contain ocean-based ingredients.
Additionally, much of the medicines that help treat sickness, pain and disease are derived from ingredients from the ocean. This includes medicines that treat cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and heart disease.
The importance of the ocean to the U.S. economy
The U.S. economy is highly dependent on the ocean for economic growth. American businesses that are dependent on the ocean employ close to 3 million workers. These businesses produce $282 billion worth of products and services each year. Also, 76 percent of U.S. trade requires some type of ocean-based transportation.
How to help keep the ocean clean and sustainable
There are various ways you can help to save the ocean and keep it clean. First, you can start by doing what you can to conserve water. This reduces runoff wastewater which ends up flowing into the ocean.
Try to use nontoxic chemicals and make sure you properly dispose of your cleaning products, pesticides and herbicides. Overall, try to reduce waste and decrease how much you throw away.
Your consumer choices can also have a huge impact on ocean sustainability. Purchase sustainable seafood. When you are grocery shopping opt for reusable bags as opposed to plastic bags which end up in landfills and ultimately may reach the ocean.
Paying attention to your energy consumption is also important. Reduce vehicle pollution by choosing to drive a fuel efficient vehicle, use carpools or even ride a bike when possible. Also, try to stick with energy efficient light bulbs.
What to do for World Ocean Day
The U.N. is commemorating World Ocean Day this year by holding its second completely virtual celebration which will feature entrepreneurs, community leaders, experts from various industries and numerous celebrities. These special guests will be talking about the biodiversity of the ocean and how the sea provides significant economic opportunity.
Last year’s event, which was the first time this annual event was held completely virtually, had 350,000 viewers. Also, 60 million people were able to see the event on social media. You can join the event here.
Aside from this virtual event being produced by the U.N. there are plenty of events around the globe that are planned for celebrating World Ocean Day. Here are a few of the organizations hosting these special events:
- Seacoast Science Center – Join this weeklong celebration in New Hampshire which includes community beach cleanups, educational talks, a recycled art contest, a virtual 5K run, family trivia and more.
- Sea to Sky – This Canada-based nonprofit organization is hosting the Howe Sound Art Challenge for the youth which focuses on the theme of ocean life.
- Greensboro Science Center – The organization is hosting its Annual Recycled Art Contest which prompts participants to create art that promotes saving the marine environment and shows the importance of the ocean.
- Clean Ocean Access – This environmental organization is producing a weekend-long celebration in Newport, Rhode Island which includes a virtual art contest, raffles, giveaways and more.
Another way to celebrate World Ocean Day is to donate to a non-profit organization whose goal is to keep the ocean clean and the marine environment sustainable, like the Foundation for Climate Restoration.
If you want to explore other environmentally friendly nonprofits and fun facts, check out our article on World Environment Day that takes place every year on June 5th.
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- A clean and healthy ocean is vital for sustaining life for humans as well as just about every other life form on Earth.
- The U.N. is celebrating World Ocean Day on June 8 with a fully virtual event.
- The ocean plays a key role in the U.S. economy.
- There are many different celebrations all over the globe commemorating World Ocean Day.
- You can make a difference by donating to nonprofits that help the ocean, and even get your donations matched, up to $150 per year³, by donating through Spiral.