World Oceans Day, which had been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008 Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.
World Oceans Day is an opportunity every year to honor the world’s ocean, celebrate the products the ocean provides, such as seafood, as well as marine life itself for aquariums, pets, and also a time to appreciate its own intrinsic value. The ocean also provides sea-lanes for international trade. Global pollution and over-consumption of fish have resulted in drastically dwindling population of the majority of species.
The Ocean Project, working in partnership with the World Ocean Network, has been promoting WOD since 2003 with its network of over 1,200 organizations and others throughout the world. These groups have been working to build greater awareness of the crucial role of the ocean in our lives and the important ways people can help. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity to get directly involved in protecting our future, through a new mindset and personal and community action and involvement – beach cleanups, educational programs, art contests, film festivals, sustainable seafood events, and other planned activities help to raise consciousness of how our lives depend on the oceans.
World Oceans Day 2011
The Ocean Project recently launched a new site for WOD 2011.
The World Oceans Day 2011 & 2012 theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change. World Ocean Day – The Ocean Project
This focus on youth is based on market research by The Ocean Project and others which clearly shows that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change.
Young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental actions. Furthermore, the research shows that parents are increasingly looking to their tween and teenage (i.e. ages 12-17) children for information and advice on these issues.
The Ocean Project hope that event organizers will make a concerted effort to reach out to and collaborate with young people, helping inspire them to care for our world’s ocean, now and throughout their lives.