June 5, 2018

Celebrate the ocean and NOAA in June [World Oceans Month]

Posted by Laura Guertin

The month of June is known across the globe as World Oceans Month (although it should be referred to as “Ocean” Month, as there is only one ocean divided into geographic regions). The White House has declared June 2018 as National Ocean Month in the United States. The United Nations has established an annual celebration on June 8 for World Oceans Day.

The UN World Oceans Day website has an Online Portal that serves as a guide to global events and educational resources for World Oceans Day, to aid in your celebrations this month. Take a look at the video overview below.

I can’t mention the ocean without giving a shout-out to our federal scientific agency for all things atmosphere and hydrosphere – NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). NOAA is also celebrating National Ocean Month with #30daysofocean facts on their website and on social media. This is NOAA’s video overview of World Oceans Day.

Is there a need for a celebration, a need to generate awareness and engage the public in ocean facts and stories as to why the oceans matter? Here’s a tweet from NOAA that kicked off the month:

A follow-up response was posted:

The reason I bring this up is because ocean knowledge and respect goes far beyond knowing basic trivia facts. It is understanding the role and position of the ocean in Earth’s systems. It’s realizing the the impacts by and connection to humans, the Anthrosphere. It is not surprising that for 2018, the United Nations has declared the action focus to be preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

The United Nations offers the following statement for why we should celebrate the ocean:

We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.  —  UN World Oceans Day website

I challenge every scientist and educator to take some time in June to share their own ocean knowledge, their own ocean experiences, and to share beyond the month of June. A one-month media blitz will not generate the change we need to see to protect, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.