This upcoming Monday, June 8, 2009, is World Oceans Day. It is a day recognized by the United Nations, for the first time this year! Here is some info, taken from The Ocean Project Website:
The concept of a "World Ocean Day" was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The Ocean Project has been working closely with the World Ocean Network for the last six years to promote and coordinate World Ocean Day events and activities with aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations and agencies, universities, schools, and businesses. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations have been marking June 8th as opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
But you say you don't live near an ocean, so it doesn't matter to ME-WRONG! The world's oceans affect all of us. Your actions CAN help. Your biggest contribution to our oceans' health is to reduce your plastic use, reduce your consumption (of everything), reuse things that you can, and recycle everything that can't be reused. Compost your kitchen scraps! They make better soil than garbage! See previous posts on how to become more environmentally friendly.
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate/recognize World Oceans Day (also taken from The Ocean Project website):
Beginning this year we can all start to associate the color blue with World Oceans Day. This event has been unofficially celebrated for more than a dozen years but this year marks the inaugural World Oceans Day, officially recognized by United Nations resolution as June 8th each year.
One easy thing that all Partners and supporters can do is to wear blue in honor of the ocean. Many already do as part of their uniform, but we encourage all ZAM [zoos, aquariums and museums] staff and docents as well as those working at NGOs, agencies, and universities and schools, to help spread the blue.
We also suggest that you not only wear blue, but let people know why: tell people two things they likely don't know about our ocean and how they can help.
Connecting ocean health with climate change and healthy seafood are two issue opportunities for ZAMs and others to begin to more effectively engage the public in caring more and doing more for our shared ocean.
Our recent research shows...people want this info from ZAMs, and people want to be part of the solutions and believe their individual actions can help. Let's take advantage of that huge opportunity and, together, we can bring about some really positive change!
Two examples of what you could share with your visitors and the public:
- Our ocean is in trouble, with climate change already linked to the killing of coral reefs, and destructive fishing practices causing a dramatic decline in many types of the fish we depend on for food.
- There are important, easy actions each of us can take to help. Calculating our carbon footprints and looking for ways to reduce our role in climate change is a great step. Likewise, we can choose seafood that is abundant in supply and fished or farmed without harm to the ocean. ZAMs might want to consider, for instance:
- Providing carbon calculators, such as those at StopGlobalWarming.org, EPA, or Berkeley Institute of the Environment, on-site and linking online so visitors can learn more.
- Handing out sustainable seafood guides and cards on-site and linking online to programs such as Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, Blue Ocean Institute, or Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector.