June 10, 2019

Presidential proclamations of National Ocean Month, 2006-2019

Posted by Laura Guertin

I’ve been blogging about the United Nations celebration of World Oceans Day (June 8) the past couple of years (see previous blog posts), and I’ve been aware of the United States expanding the celebration to a National Ocean Month (yet surprised that a Wikipedia page does not exist for National Ocean Month!). NOAA has jumped on board and shares facts and videos online and on their social media channels with #30DaysOfOcean.

But did you know that NOAA wasn’t even mentioned in the first Presidential proclamation for this celebration? And the first celebration was for a National Ocean Week, not a month? And it wasn’t until 2017 that “Oceans” was corrected to “Ocean”? And that the Great Lakes are mentioned in several of these statements? I was curious to learn more about how National Ocean Week/Month was declared annually, so I did some digging on the internet and found links to the Presidential proclamations going back to President Bush in 2006.

For those that are curious like me, click on the links below to explore the Presidential proclamations:

It would be an interesting exercise to have a student interested in policy and government to explore the language and the Acts and locations called attention to in these proclamations over the years. And, it would be great to have a Wikipedia page built out for this month as well! Enjoy this piece of history as we celebrate National Ocean Month.