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5 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day 2017

By Brian Hutchinson

World Oceans Day (June 8) is a global ocean celebration that provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans. There are many ways to take part in this annual global event.

Here are five easy ways to participate:

Reef fish swim above vibrant hard corals in Palau. © Keoki Stender

1. Join a World Oceans Day Activity or Event

There are hundreds of events planned worldwide for World Oceans Day. These include talks, happy hours, film screenings, beach cleanups and more. Find an event near you at http://www.worldoceansday.org/events_list and get inspired by joining your fellow ocean lovers!

2. Skip the Seafood (and Meat)

Give the ocean a break today by avoiding seafood. While there are many well-managed and sustainable fisheries (that can actually support healthy oceans), there is also no question that many fisheries are poorly managed and that humans put enormous pressure on marine ecosystems through resource extraction. According to the FAO, 89.5% of fish stocks worldwide are either fully fished (58.1%) or overfished (31.4%). Meat consumption is also considered a major contributor to climate change, so try going vegetarian for the day.

3. Gather Friends and Watch an Ocean Film

Staying informed about ocean conservation issues and sharing knowledge with your friends and family is an important part of becoming a better supporter of ocean conservation. One easy way to learn and share information is by watching one of the many excellent documentaries that showcase ocean wildlife and conservation issues. These include: Mission Blue, The Blue Planet, Sharkwater, The Cove, Disneynature: Oceans, A Plastic Ocean, and many more.

4. Avoid Single-Use Plastics

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats to ocean health worldwide. There are many ways that you can help reduce ocean plastic pollution, but one of the easiest is to avoid single-use plastic. Help support cleaner oceans by avoiding single-use plastic items including disposable water bottles, straws, cups and lids, utensils, and bags.

5. Breathe Deep, Appreciate the Ocean

Take time today to appreciate your connection to the ocean and to consider the many benefits that a healthy ocean provides. One of our deepest connections to the ocean is through the air we breathe—more than half of the oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere is produced by marine plants. So breathe deep, reflect on your connection to the ocean, and stay inspired to continue working for healthier oceans.

Thanks for being a part of the growing oceanic society.

Author

Brian Hutchinson is Oceanic Society's director of outreach, co-founder of the State of the World's Sea Turtles Program, and program officer of the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. Brian holds a B.A. in zoology from Connecticut College, and has been working to advance global marine conservation for more than a decade.