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Kimberly Hall | June 2, 2020

Each year on June 8, the world celebrates World Oceans Day. The concept of World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit. Years later, global promotions and coordination for World Oceans Day were put into motion in 2002 by The Ocean Project. In 2003, the World Oceans Day website was launched, making World Oceans Day official, and providing support to event organizers worldwide.

World Oceans Day is celebrated to educate every one of the major roles the oceans have in everyday life. One major role is providing most of the oxygen that we breathe. World Oceans Day is also used to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.

This year the theme for World Oceans Day is innovation for a sustainable ocean. In addition to regulating the climate and weather, the ocean is also a major source of food and medicines. The ocean is vital to the world’s economy. More than 90 percent of trade use sea routes and is also a source of jobs for millions of people. However, with the world’s oceans facing unprecedented pressures, from pollution to climate change, the need to balance the preservation of healthy oceans and ever-increasing economic activities requires fresh approaches and rethinking in many areas. The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation is one organization that works to provide decision-makers with evidence on industries, science, and innovation in the ocean economy, to harness the ocean economy’s potential in a responsible and sustainable way.

We can also do our part in sustaining the oceans. The first step is to educate yourself, then share your knowledge with others. It is difficult to clean up the ocean and maintain it without knowing how it gets polluted in the first place. Other ways include cutting down on plastic use, recognizing the harm of individual litter, donate to an ocean charity, volunteer your time to clean up your local beach, be careful of what products you are flushing down your toilet, conserve water usage in your home, never throw trash overboard while you are out on a boat, and be a responsible seafood consumer. These are just some of the ways we can help save the ocean. For more information about sustaining oceans or for activities you can do with your students and families see the resources listed below.

Resources and Information about World Oceans Day: