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World Oceans Day Coordinator
“The ocean is the heart of our planet, and like your heart pumping blood through your body, the ocean connects all people across our planet,” said Alyssa Isakower, World Oceans Day Coordinator. “People come together on World Oceans Day to celebrate that connection, and, now more than ever, also to help solve problems like plastic trash in our ocean.”
Many of the action-oriented efforts will emphasize the Better Bag Challenge (http://www.worldoceansday.org/challenge) where people will promise to avoid disposable plastic bags for at least one year. More than 8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the ocean every year, including millions of disposable plastic bags and bottles. “Ocean plastic pollution has serious health consequences for both animals and people” explained Isakower, “and joining together to reduce the amount of disposable plastics we use is a great step towards shrinking the amount of plastic trash in our seas!”
You’re invited! Whether attending a World Oceans Day event in person, or participating online, everyone can be a part of the celebration and join in the action. The following are highlights from among the hundreds of events planned this year. Additional events near you can be found at http://www.worldoceansday.org/events
- The 2nd Annual World Oceans Day Photo Contest co-organized by the United Nations and other organizations worldwide, this underwater photo contest calls photographers to share the beauty and importance of the ocean through their art. Winning photographers will be recognized at a special World Oceans Day event at the United Nations on June 8.
- Worldwide: SEA LIFE Centers around the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day at more than a dozen locations. SEA LIFE invites little ocean-lovers to connect with the ocean by meeting The Octonauts. SEA LIFE Centers will also be giving away free reusable bags to guests who take The Better Bag Challenge.
- Paris, France: The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO has organized a full day dedicated to the ocean and climate. The program brings together scientists, political decision-makers, civil society, and youth and will foster dialogue that develops strategies to reduce climate pollution and its harmful impacts. Recommendations will be presented to the heads of states, members of government, UN representatives and other decision makers.
- Lisbon, Portugal: The Economist’s third World Ocean Summit aims to set a new global agenda for the ocean economy. The Summit will convene more than 250 leaders from various sectors to ignite a constructive dialogue on developing a blue economy in which economic opportunity is balanced by responsible investment in sustainability.
- Worldwide, 16 cities: The US Department of State’s annual Fishackathon event aims to make fishing more sustainable with a weekend of connection and coding! Coders will volunteer their talents at institutions like aquariums and universities to develop new tools that help fishers work smarter and more safely in sustainable fishing. The event hopes to grow a network of citizens and institutions that will continue to collaborate for a more sustainable future.
- Chennai, India: The Chennai Trekking Club is bringing together corporations, NGOs, and schools to do a massive coastal cleanup! Their ambitious goal is to host 5,000+ volunteers and gather 50+ tons of garbage.
- Penang, Malaysia: The University of Science Malaysia Scuba Diving Club is holding four different events this year to connect their community with the ocean. These motivated young people have organized a sea turtle release, beach cleanup, charity run and carnival, and a workshop on ocean documentaries.
- US-wide: Litton’s Weekend Adventure, the three-hour programming block that airs Saturdays on ABC stations nationwide and reaches over 10.2 million viewers each week, is kicking off a three-week campaign on May 23 that will generate awareness about World Oceans Day, incorporating broadcast media and multiple social media platforms. Throughout the block, on-air custom promos will feature Litton’s Weekend Adventure hosts, including Jack Hanna, saluting World Oceans Day.
A big thank you to our supporting partners for World Oceans Day 2015: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Ripley’s Aquariums, National Aquarium, Landry’s Restaurants, North Carolina Aquariums, SeaWorld, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, S.E.A. Aquarium, ABQ Biopark, Aquarium of the Pacific, Texas State Aquarium, Shark Reef Aquarium, South Carolina Aquarium, Living Oceans Foundation, San Antonio Zoo, Erie Zoo, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, and The Florida Aquarium.
The Ocean Project inspires action to protect our ocean. We advance ocean and climate conservation in partnership with our growing global network of 2,000 aquariums, zoos, science museums, and other organizations. Since 2002, The Ocean Project has coordinated World Oceans Day. More can be found at: www.TheOceanProject.org. The Ocean Project is a fiscally sponsored project of The Ocean Foundation.
World Oceans Day is a United Nations recognized day of celebration and action for the ocean, held every June 8th. The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and was officially recognized by the UN in December 2008. The Ocean Project has been the lead organization promoting and coordinating this event since 2002, in partnership with many other organizations and networks, including World Ocean Network and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.