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Happy World Oceans Day + 11 Bay Area Ocean Events

By Kathi Koontz

Belizean waters. © Eric Ramos

It’s World Oceans Day, today, June 8th. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work at Oceanic Society, to save whales, and to celebrate the blue in our blue planet. My happy place is in / on the water. I love being weightless and diving with charismatic megafauna (like sharks), and snorkeling or swimming with the incredible diversity of marine life. I love being on a boat and feeling the wind push against me and listening to the sound of the waves crashing on shore.

I’m doing my part to live an ocean-friendly life by practicing "blue habits"—small, everyday actions that contribute to healthier oceans.

Here are my top 8 blue habits for this World Ocean's Day:
  1. Use fewer plastic products. Refuse plastic or single-use items.
  2. Dispose of waste properly. If you see trash, pick it up. The ocean is downstream of everything.
  3. Don't use pesticides or chemicals in your yard.
  4. Choose sustainable seafood.
  5. Eat less meat.
  6. Reduce your energy consumption.
  7. Don't purchase items that exploit marine life (shark products, turtle products, coral jewelry, dried animals).
  8. Tell your elected officials to protect the ocean. Vote responsibly.

I'll also be starting a monthly post of ocean-related events in the San Francisco Bay Area to help fellow ocean-lovers stay engaged in ocean conservation. If you have any events to add, please let me know! If not, I hope you can attend one of these events. Here is the list for June:

San Francisco Bay Area Ocean Events: June 2016

For World Oceans Day, I share my friend, Dr. J. Nichols', thought: “I wish you water.”

Motoring away from Half Moon Caye, Belize. © Kathi Koontz

Author

Kathi Koontz is director of California Whale Rescue and Oceanic Society's former Bay Area Programs Manager. Her passion for the ocean includes work as a whales-in-distress responder through NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. Kathi is an avid diver, snorkeler, and advocate for marine wildlife. She has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University and spends as much time as she can underwater.