Changing Planet

World Oceans Day 2014: Together, We Have the Power to Protect the Ocean

A dolphin gets up close and personal with the camera. (Photograph by Matt Weiss)

By Bill Mott

World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity once a year to honor our world’s ocean that connects us all, and this weekend you can join with people in communities around the world to mark the day in a special way. After all, no matter where we live­­—from California to Kansas to the Carolinas, and from Australia to Austria to Argentina­­­­—we all depend on a healthy ocean for our survival and each one of us can contribute to resolving the issues facing our ocean, including ocean acidification, plastics pollution, and overfishing.

On and around June 8, people around the globe will come together to celebrate this year’s World Oceans Day theme: “Together we have the power to protect the ocean.” This growing global event serves as a rallying point for raising awareness and promoting personal and community action in fun and positive ways, leading to a more aware, engaged, and sustainable society, and a healthier ocean. Hundreds of events are planned this year to help individuals be part of the solution for our ocean by supporting clean energy choices, trash-free coasts and beaches, sustainable seafood, and more.

A sea turtle swims up from the depths. (Photograph by Matt Weiss)
A sea turtle swims up from the depths. (Photograph by Matt Weiss)

The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. When The Ocean Project adopted this event in 2002, there were no events in the U.S. and very few worldwide. We envision this event growing as a global platform to capture people’s imaginations with engaging experiences and to tap into the innovativeness of people around the world to help collaboratively solve the problems facing our ocean and society.

Beyond creating direct reach and impact from World Oceans Day events themselves, one of The Ocean Project’s goals in promoting and coordinating this event has been to create interest in ocean conservation around the world. And by generating interest every June, participating organizations can help cultivate those connections for deeper conservation engagement 365 days a year.

Officially recognized by the United Nations in late 2008, each year an increasing number of countries and organizations mark World Oceans Day on June 8th. Last year, approximately 600 events were held in 70 countries, and we aim to double the number of events in 2014 by encouraging aquariums, zoos, museums, youth groups, conservation organizations, universities, schools, state and federal agencies, sailors, surf clubs, civic organizations, bloggers, and businesses to participate in different ways. World Oceans Day also provides opportunities to build synergies with media and decision-makers, which helps bring more positive attention to the ocean every year.

WearBlueClick here to get involved and learn more about World Oceans Day!

Bill Mott is the director of The Ocean Project, which inspires action to protect our ocean. Through the world’s most extensive network of aquariums, zoos, science museums, youth groups, and other organizations, we advance ocean and climate conservation in collaborative and innovative ways. The Ocean Project supports our 2,000+ partner organizations in 75 countries with cutting-edge communications research, tools, and resources to effectively engage with their millions of visitors and the public for conservation impact. Since 2002, The Ocean Project has coordinated World Oceans Day. Learn more at TheOceanProject.org and WorldOceansDay.org.

  • PRIYA

    It is really enthralling to see all these steps being taken to protect the oceans which are the home to some of the most fragile ecosystems including the coral reefs and impact the humans in so many diversifed ways everyday.As the message goes ” Together we have the power to protect the oceans”. All that we need is little bit of honest effort and persistence.

  • PRIYA

    It is really enthralling to see all these steps being taken to protect the oceans which are the home to some of the most fragile ecosystems including the coral reefs and impact the humans in so many diversifed ways everyday.As the message goes ” Together we have the power to protect the oceans”. All that we need is little bit of honest effort and persistence.

  • Eva Maria Uhl

    God created first of all the oceans,we should be that crown of creation to respect and support all living beings,no matter what and who! Without water life is impossible for all of us!

  • Eva Maria Uhl

    God created first of all the oceans,we should be that crown of creation to respect and support all living beings,no matter what and who! Without water life is impossible for all of us!

  • Joanne Farina

    Pictures are beautiful. I love to snorkel in Bermuda. It is a beautiful world Under the Sea.

  • Joanne Farina

    Pictures are beautiful. I love to snorkel in Bermuda. It is a beautiful world Under the Sea.

  • alexa

    I saw World Ocean Day on the television..
    .
    . NOT ONE MENTION of Fukishima
    and dumping untold incredible amounts
    of nuclear radiation into the Ocean.
    .
    .For shame.
    .
    .

  • alexa

    I saw World Ocean Day on the television..
    .
    . NOT ONE MENTION of Fukishima
    and dumping untold incredible amounts
    of nuclear radiation into the Ocean.
    .
    .For shame.
    .
    .

  • olga suslova

    Happy WORLD OCEANS DAY to everyone !!!!

  • olga suslova

    Happy WORLD OCEANS DAY to everyone !!!!

  • Jeannette Boone

    My dad, Sinkey Boone, was the Lifesaver of the Ocean.. He invented the T.E.D. (Turtle Excluding Device) in 1969 and had since made many new models before his passing Sept. 1, 2010.

  • Jeannette Boone

    My dad, Sinkey Boone, was the Lifesaver of the Ocean.. He invented the T.E.D. (Turtle Excluding Device) in 1969 and had since made many new models before his passing Sept. 1, 2010.

  • ismail

    I love it so much and its nice

  • ismail

    I love it so much and its nice

  • Tina Jacobsen

    <3<3<3

  • Tina Jacobsen

    <3<3<3

  • Carlos Lobo

    So sad that we who love and frequent the sea never actually come face to face with the elusive shot calling CEO who actually has a say so about dumping their fabricated waste. Rare animal in the wish they would go extinct.

  • Carlos Lobo

    So sad that we who love and frequent the sea never actually come face to face with the elusive shot calling CEO who actually has a say so about dumping their fabricated waste. Rare animal in the wish they would go extinct.

  • R Stewart

    Please consider tweeting Australian politicians, @GregHuntMP and @TonyAbbottMHR about their decision to allow dredging and dumping around The Great Barrier Reef, to build new coal shipping ports.
    #SaveTheReef
    See Greenpeace’s website for more info: http://www.savethereef.org.au
    As individuals, we may seem small fry to some politicians and big corporates, but together, we are a powerful shoal!
    Thank you.

  • R Stewart

    Please consider tweeting Australian politicians, @GregHuntMP and @TonyAbbottMHR about their decision to allow dredging and dumping around The Great Barrier Reef, to build new coal shipping ports.
    #SaveTheReef
    See Greenpeace’s website for more info: http://www.savethereef.org.au
    As individuals, we may seem small fry to some politicians and big corporates, but together, we are a powerful shoal!
    Thank you.

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