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History of World Oceans Day
The first World Oceans Day was introduced by Canada’s International Center for Ocean Development in 1992 at the Earth Summit, the UN conference on the Environment and Development.
At first, the goal was to draw attention to pollution in our oceans and to celebrate how connected we are to the ocean, even for those who live inland.
The Ocean Project promotes ocean conservation with aquariums, zoos, museums, schools, and 2,000 other partners worldwide. Since 2002 they have been responsible for World Oceans Day celebrations.
How to Celebrate World Oceans Day
1. Enter the World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition.
The World Oceans Day photo competition is sponsored by the United Nations.
For the Sixth Annual competition in 2019, there are 7 categories for submissions:
- Gender and Oceans NEW!
- Underwater Seascapes
- Underwater Life
- Above Water Seascapes
- Human Interaction: Making a Difference
- Clean Our Ocean: Images relating to the ocean that show the positive or negative consequences of human interference above or below the waterline
- Youth: Open category, any image of the ocean – below or above the surface (photographed by a person under 18 years of age as of 1 May 2019)
“This open and free photo competition seeks to inspire the creation of imagery capturing the beauty, the challenges and the importance of the ocean and humankind’s relation to it, hoping to contribute to actions to preserve it.”
2. Visit your local aquarium & join the festivities.
3. Join a shoreline cleanup in your area.
Even if you live inland, you probably live near a body of water. Check your local listings to see what groups are doing for World Oceans Day.
There most certainly will be a shoreline cleanup you can be involved with this spring.
If not, start your own. The Youth Advisory Council has a guide to help you.
4. Go plogging with friends.
Plogging was created in Sweden in 2016. It simply means to pick up litter while jogging.
If you’d like to get some friends together to Plog for the Ocean, the Youth Advisory Council has a guide for you.
5. Buy a 4ocean bracelet.
4ocean has cleaned up 4,500,000 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines since 2017.
From the sales of their bracelets, they pay local fishermen to clean litter. They pay them the same amount per pound as fish. It’s win/win.
Each bracelet represents the cost of 1 pound of litter removed from the ocean.
6. Go strawless. #StopSucking
It is estimated that 500 million straws are used every day in the US.
Most of them end up in the ocean because all gutters and storm drains go into our water system and meet with other litter from beaches, seaside resorts, boats or blown garbage.
It is estimated that by 2050:
- there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish
- 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic
- 94% of US tap water will contain plastic
Some people have to use a straw. There are many alternatives to plastic.
- paper straws
- glass straws
- silicone reusable straws
- bamboo degradable straws
- metal reusable straws
7. Stop using facial scrubs with microbeads.
Stop using facial scrubs with microbeads. Those little beads are made of plastic and have been found in our oceans and the Great Lakes shared by Canada and the US.
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