Although I grew up on a tropical island surrounded by the ocean, I thought of the ocean more as a place to have barbeques NEXT TO, rather than a source for actual recreation. Sad, I know, but I guess we take for granted what is closest to us. As an adult I finally discovered the ocean and learned to appreciate it for its own sake, thanks to the miracle of SCUBA.
Now I am an avid supporter of the oceans, and am particularly happy to share with everyone the glad news that after 15 years as an unofficial global celebration, World Oceans Day received official recognition in 2009! June 8th has been designated World Oceans Day, and this year’s theme is “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future.”
Even if we don’t live near the ocean, it affects our lives every day. More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean, which functions to provide most of the oxygen in our air, and to regulate our weather and climate. More important, the ocean has long held a strong pull on the human imagination — feeding our curiosity, our need for adventure, our collective soul.
A majority of our fellow inhabitants on the planet live in the ocean, and whether we think of them as furry mascots, feared predators, or simply food, they need our help in keeping their homes, nurseries and and feeding grounds safe.
If we are lucky enough to live near the shore, there is no better source of recreation than the oceans, whether by swimming, fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing, boating or just relaxing on the beach.
To promote the first official celebration of World Oceans Day, the Ocean Project has initiated the “Wear Blue and Tell Two” campaign, encouraging people worldwide to wear blue on June 8th, and to learn and share 2 facts about the ocean with others in your circle.
To learn some new facts about the worlds’ oceans to pass along, you might want to visit one of these websites that focus on news, education, and conservation of the oceans:
* NOAA Ocean Services: the key U.S. federal website for all things that affect the ocean and navigable waters. There is an entire division with educational resources for teachers and parents, including lesson plans and games. Also check out the two audio podcasts updated bi-weekly: Making Waves features the topical news stories affecting the oceans and ocean research; and Diving Deeper features in-depth interviews with scientists and researchers whose work touches on the oceans.
* The Monterey Bay Aquarium: features not only information about this gorgeous aquarium in California, but also the ever popular Seafood Watch guides that provide up-to-date listings of safe (from mercury) and sustainable fish and seafood choices. the Seafood Watch guides are available for each region in the U.S.: West Coast, Hawaii, Central, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Southwest. For a list of seafood guides for other countries, check out this post from last summer.
* The Ocean Project: advocates for ocean conservation and public education, including the “Wear Blue” campaign.
* Oceana: a global advocacy and environmental non-profit. You can also visit one of Oceana’s international sites inEurope and South America (in Spanish) to learn how you can support legislation in your country to protect the world’s oceans or just how to get the word out about World Oceans Day.
And speaking of getting the word out… To raise awareness of this first official World Oceans Day, the famous marine-themed fashion brand, Nautica(tm), has designed a special woven-rope Wavemaker wristband for the event. Similar to the plastic bands that support cancer, AIDS, and other important causes, this stylish rope band will immediately identify you as a supporter of the oceans.
I’ve just ordered a bunch of these bands, and am waiting for them to arrive. In the meantime, I’m offering to send one these attractive wristbands to the first 12 bloggers who help to spread the word about World Oceans Day!
To qualify for a wristband, please follow these instructions:
1) Between today, May 21st, and Friday, May 29th, post a blog about World Oceans Day (WOD 2009)and link to the Ocean Project announcement here. Mention the theme is “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future.”
1a) **Optional** Include the banner above or download one from the Ocean Project site here.
2) Mention 2 facts about the ocean.
3) Link back to this post.
4) After your post is “live,” leave a comment below with a link to your post about WOD 2009. Please include your email address on the form (it will not be public) so I can contact you if you qualify. I will visit your site as soon as possible and contact you soon after to let you know if you’re one of the first 12 to post correctly.
The wristbands are due to arrive here in 2 weeks, and I will mail them out to the winners as soon as they arrive. If you are a winner, the wristband may not reach you in time for World Oceans Day this year, but you’ll be a trendsetter this summer and ahead of the game for next year! ; )
Thanks for your interest in the oceans, and for helping to spread the word about World Oceans Day!
Remember to Wear Blue and Tell Two!