Our planet’s oceans are vital to all life - they are sources for food, oxygen, and regulate climate. Agreed upon in 2008 and formally adopted in 2009, the United Nations designated June 8th as “World Oceans Day”. This designation, observed around the world, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of our oceans, as well as the serious challenges they currently face.
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, emphasized that human-caused climate change is disrupting our oceans and planets in several ways: the planet is heating, which is disturbing weather patterns, ocean currents, and marine ecosystems and wildlife around the world. Our ocean marine life suffers from overfishing, and human pollutants like chemicals, plastics, and more continue to threaten oceans.
But there is hope. This year's WOD theme, “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing,” spotlighted incredible work being done by decision makers, scientific experts, private and public sector executives, indigenous leaders, renowned figures, and young activists to prioritize our oceans. As Mr. Guterres stated, “This World Oceans Day let’s keep pushing for action. Today and every day, let’s put the ocean first.”
How can I be a part of positive change?
The health and protection of oceans is crucial to our survival. Advancing ocean protection efforts and amplifying the amazing work being done by people around the world is crucial. By working together, we can preserve our wonderful ecosystems for generations to come. For further information about Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water, visit the United Nations dedicated page about this global effort.