“Without water, our planet would be one of the billions of lifeless rocks floating endlessly in the vastness of the inky-black void.” — Fabien Cousteau
It’s time once again to commemorate and celebrate the heart of our planet, the vast, beautiful, mysterious, and yet vulnerable oceans that cover about 71% of the Earth’s surface. Yes, World Oceans Day is upon us!
This year, World Oceans Day falls on June 8th, 2023. But what is this year’s theme? What’s the history behind the event? Why does it hold such global significance? And, in honour of the occasion, what are some inspiring quotes to stir our consciousness?
In this post, we’re exploring everything you need to know about World Oceans Day 2023. So, grab your virtual snorkel and dive right in!
World Oceans Day 2023: Date
World Oceans Day is celebrated annually on June 8th, an observance that is recognised and championed by the United Nations. The goal of the day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the oceans, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
World Oceans Day 2023: Theme
Each year, World Oceans Day carries a unique theme to raise awareness about a particular aspect of ocean health or conservation. The theme for World Oceans Day 2023 is yet to be announced at the time of writing this post (as of 2023-06-09). Past themes have been “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean” (2020), “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” (2021), and “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together” (2022). Stay tuned to the official World Oceans Day website to find out the theme for 2023.
World Oceans Day: History
- 1992: The concept of World Oceans Day was first proposed by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. However, it wasn’t officially recognised at this time.
- 2002: The Ocean Project, a not-for-profit international community foundation, started to promote and coordinate World Oceans Day globally.
- 2008: The United Nations officially recognised June 8th as World Oceans Day.
- Today: World Oceans Day events occur in over 140 countries around the globe.
World Oceans Day: Significance
Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day? Let’s dive into a few points of significance:
- Awareness: World Oceans Day is a global platform for raising awareness about the crucial role the oceans play in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.
- Education: This day is a great opportunity to learn more about oceanic biodiversity and the threats that oceans are facing.
- Action: The day encourages individuals, communities, and governments around the world to take action to protect and preserve our oceans.
- Appreciation: It’s a day to celebrate the beauty, wealth, and promise of the ocean.
Inspiring Quotes for World Oceans Day
As we celebrate World Oceans Day 2023, let these inspiring quotes remind us of our responsibility towards the preservation and conservation of our oceans:
- “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” — Sylvia Earle
- “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Cousteau
- “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” — John F. Kennedy
- “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” — Robert Wyland
- “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro
The Oceans: Our Life, Our Future
It’s often easy to forget that the oceans play an integral role in our everyday lives. They’re not just vast bodies of water that divide continents. They are the lifeblood of our planet, the lungs of our world, the very essence of our survival. This is why World Oceans Day isn’t just an event; it’s a global plea for conservation, for awareness, and for the sustainable use of our precious ocean resources.
How The Oceans Impact Our Life
- Oxygen Production: More than half of the world’s oxygen is produced by marine plants, primarily by tiny oceanic organisms called phytoplankton. The air we breathe is intrinsically linked to the health of the oceans.
- Climate Regulation: The oceans act as a ‘sink’ for carbon dioxide, helping to regulate our planet’s climate. They absorb about 30% of the CO2 produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
- Food and Livelihood: Oceans are a major source of food and livelihood for billions of people worldwide. Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their sustenance.
- Medicine: Many marine organisms hold potential for the development of new drugs to combat major diseases like cancer, inflammation, and bacterial infections.
Threats To Our Oceans
Despite their importance, our oceans face many threats, largely due to human activities. These include:
- Climate Change: Rising global temperatures are leading to ocean warming and acidification, threatening marine life and disrupting ecosystems.
- Overfishing: Unsustainable fishing practices are depleting fish populations, disrupting food chains and impacting livelihoods that depend on fishing.
- Pollution: Oceans are increasingly becoming dumping grounds for plastic waste, harmful chemicals, and other pollutants, endangering marine life and contaminating food chains.
- Habitat Destruction: Coastal development, destructive fishing practices, and other human activities are leading to the loss of crucial habitats like coral reefs and mangrove forests.
World Oceans Day: Be The Change
World Oceans Day serves as a reminder of our individual and collective duty to safeguard our oceans. It’s a call to each of us to learn more about the oceans, to appreciate their importance, to celebrate their beauty, and most importantly, to be inspired into action.
Here are a few ways you can make a difference:
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Cut down on plastic waste by reducing your consumption, reusing what you can, and recycling when possible.
- Educate Yourself and Others: Learn more about the oceans and share your knowledge with others. Education is the first step to creating change.
- Support Marine Conservation Organisations: Support organizations that work towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
- Clean-Up Activities: Participate in local beach clean-ups or organize one in your community.
This World Oceans Day, let’s unite in our efforts to protect and preserve our oceans. In the words of renowned oceanographer, Sylvia Earle, “No water, no life. No blue, no green.“
Through our actions, however small, we can contribute to a wave of change that can ensure a healthy ocean and a healthy planet for generations to come. Our oceans, our future!