The ocean links us all. It doesn’t matter where we live, if we’re old or young, even if we live near a coast. That’s why many schools worldwide worked together to change the world by celebrating World Oceans Day this June. Here are how 10 different schools from around the globe celebrated – with some ideas to start you brainstorming for next year’s celebration!
Getting creative is a great way to celebrate World Oceans Day. Nanguo Elementary school in Taiwan emphasized creativity at their celebration. Students made up and shared short stories, and drew their favorite ocean creatures and sent hand drawn ocean postcards. Students in the Canadian Prince Rupert Conrad Elementary School preformed songs for the oceans. Multiple schools made murals, such as Queens Creek Elementary in North Carolina who created a beautiful ocean by saving bottle caps.
Making art is a great way to talk with kids about the ocean. It’s important to stay positive with younger children, and avoid making them feel overwhelmed by talking about environmental problems. Instead, encourage their wonder and love for the natural world – and have fun!
The ocean needs to hear our voices. In Kenya, youths from local schools took part in essay and art competitions and presented about recycling and waste. Gansaabi private schools in South Africa had lectures about the ocean and allowed the students to take part in these talks. Getting to voice their own opinions and be creative is a great way to engage youth about World Oceans Day.
Connecting kids with positive experiences in nature is one of the best ways to teach them to protect the environment as adults.
Here are some simple, fun things to do with very young kids in nature from the APS:
This year, a group of school-kids in Cambodia worked together to reduce waste by upcycling plastic bottles into a raft! California students participated in a beach clean-up and removed invasive plants. Both events helped the environment and removed waste. Their World Oceans Day events helped the ocean directly.
Staging large carnival-like events at schools can also be a great chance to have fun and learn about the ocean. A small group of middle school children in South East Asia created a fun event that included dress up contests, ocean prizes, a bake sale and a jewelry sale. Palm Beach Maritime Academy in Florida organized a student film festival, conservation carnival (with music, art, games, and upcycling), and a Shark Booth. They related many of their events to their theme, sharks.
Having a theme may help streamline your World Oceans Day event. These events are great since they’re awesome fun, cultivate a positive school community, and get everyone involved and talking about the ocean.
Do you have a great idea for a World Oceans Day event at a school? Leave a comment and let us know!
Feature image credit to Plan for the Land Society
This year, people worldwide embodied the World Oceans Day theme of Together we have the power to protect the ocean more than ever before! Seventy different countries hosted hundreds of events on every different ocean issue imaginable. From aquariums to schools to businesses, people worldwide came together in honor of the ocean.
In addition to the thousands of people who attended World Oceans Day events in their communities, millions of people learned about the celebration on social media. This year the volume of online discussion about World Oceans Day almost doubled! Tens of thousands of people were talking about World Oceans Day, learning about ocean conservation, and making promises to do something for the ocean. This was also the launch of the First Annual World Oceans Day Photo Contest, be sure to check out the inspiring winning photos.
We’d like to extend our gratitude to the organizations who supported World Oceans Day this year, donating their time, skills, and funds to make 2014’s celebration the best yet. Thank you to the Octonauts, Dr. Seuss, All At Once and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, Endangered Species Chocolate, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, and Me to We Style.
A special thanks goes out to our top partners in the zoo, aquarium, and museum world for supporting World Oceans Day: North Carolina Aquariums, Landry’s Restaurants, Aquarium of the Pacific, The Florida Aquarium, Texas State Aquarium, Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, Ripley’s Aquariums, ABQ Biopark, and the Erie Zoo.
We’re seeking additional sponsors to take World Oceans Day 2015 to the next level! See our sponsors page for how you can get involved.
Read on for highlights from just a few of the very exciting World Oceans Day events from this year’s celebration. We regret that we can only feature a small fraction of the activities each year – so please see the event list and visit the participating organizations’ websites for more!
All photos belong to the organization linked in the event description. Email us if you have questions or comments on photos used in this document.
Simply Scuba kicked off their celebrations with a beach clean up at their local beach and a fundraiser for the ocean. They even had an ocean themed bake sale!
#noWAshakrcull’s celebration started with a clean up of Hillary’s Marina followed by a rally outside the offices of the Fisheries Department. Nearly forty people got together to speak up for sharks.
Agar Kembang brought over 100 seaweed farmers together for a celebration in honor of World Oceans Day. Attendees turned beach cleaning into a game with competing teams and had fun while helping the ocean. They ended up removing 1 MT of trash from the beach!
Coco Collection associates gave back to their beach by planting a new coral garden in the lagoon. Biologist Chiara Fumagalli led participants in collecting naturally broken coral pieces and attaching them to a metal frame to add to their coral nurseries.
Fifty sailors, rowers, divers, and anglers gathered to clean the harbor of Aarhus with Sager der Samler. People of all ages cleaned the water above and below the surface, and afterwards they celebrated a successful day by enjoying a barbecue and live music together. Their combination of enacting actual change and having time to enjoy each other’s company afterwards, made this a memorable event.
There were numerous events at the Flanders Marine Institute’s Science Happening on World Oceans Day! Visitors attended talks on ocean weather, seabird migration, and the future of aquaculture. People also enjoyed interactive demos, tastings, and even Ocean Promises with costumes!
The Instituto EcoFaxina brought dozens of volunteers to a mangrove forest near Santos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Volunteers cleaned 274 Kg of trash from the mangroves while learning about the importance of reducing plastic use, reusing materials, and recycling!
Mikoko Pamoja and partners reached out to hundreds of Gazi people on the importance of maintaining a healthy marine environment. The organization held a variety of events for the community including a clean-up that collected 900Kg of plastic bottles and paper! Youth were heavily involved and participated in essay and art competitions, as well as presented about recycling and waste. There was an impressive turn out from the local schools who fully participated in World Oceans Day. Their event, which helped build a network of ocean stewards, was sponsored by Camp Kenya international, Rafiki Kenia, and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.
On June 6th, the World Oceans Day planning committee went around asking people to make promises for the ocean. This simple activity was intended to get people thinking of ways to protect the ocean as an individual, and to develop concrete conservation goals. Around 50-60 volunteers, both young and old, came together on Saturday June 7th to commemorate World Oceans Day by participating in a two hour beach and underwater cleanup.
Malaysia’s National Oceanography Directorate, Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation, in collaboration with the National Science Centre and Universiti Malaysia Terengganu organized a huge bash for World Oceans Day with thousands of attendees. In line with this year’s theme “Together We have the Power to Protect the Ocean,” 19 organizations came together for this celebration. Participating organizations included local government agencies, private agencies, universities and NGOs. Their many events included a career fair, photo contests, films, Ocean Promises, dance performances, and craft activities for kids.
Ocean Park HK had great success this year, and reached thousands of visitors on World Oceans Day with their wide variety of events.
To start, on June 1st, staff and families collected almost 100 kg of debris for a pre-World Oceans Day beach cleanup. A week later, on World Oceans Day, Ocean Park HK reported that almost 300 local fishermen and their families attended a talk on marine debris and more than 2,000 visitors signed and made a pledge with bottle caps to protect the ocean. Additionally, over 900 visitors joined their up-cycling Workshop and made fun musical instruments from used paper boxes. Hundreds of visitors also explored the Roving Exhibitions on Biodiversity and Waste Reduction, presented in collaboration with the government.
Scuba Diving Club USM-Ocean Awareness Week USM held five different events this year. They started with a well received movie screening for over 600 participants, followed by a ‘Run for the Ocean’ where 300 runners ran in support of two dolphin and sea horse conservation NGO’s. In the same week, they held exhibitions, talks, and documentary screenings. Their last two events were a beach cleanup at a fishing village where they collected 500kg of trash and recyclables, and a turtle release the following week.
Over 7,000 people attended events at the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology this year. The celebrations included activities such as Meet the Algae (a special exhibition), the Ocean-Themed Happy Street (a parade), and the Ocean Creative Market. Children and adults “became” ocean creatures such as starfishes, clown fishes, and squids and enjoyed the jovial atmosphere during the entire event. This event also provided delicious foods made of sea vegetables to show people how different choices in seafood can still taste great! Through this celebration, the museum gathered families and visitors from all over the country together and asked them to take care of, understand, and save the ocean.
KIDS OCEAN DAY in California made a huge splash this year with almost 4,000 Los Angeles kids, teachers and volunteers creating aerial art. The volunteers formed a giant text message from the ocean to “CLEAN ME UP :)” as part of the 21st annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up organized by the Malibu Foundation, City of Los Angeles, Spectral Q, Keep LA Beautiful, and the California Coastal Commission. The kids alerted the world about the need to help the ocean and protect it from the everyday trash and plastic litter that flow down the streets, killing marine life and polluting food resources. Photo Credit: Jeff Pantukhoff, Spectral Q, Kids Ocean Day.
WWF Canada held several events, including a Family Fun Day and a celebration at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. At the square, local chef Patrick McMurray served up delicious sustainable seafood samples from a food truck, and hosted the Spring Fling Shuck-Off. This event brought the best of Toronto’s oyster aficionados head-to-head for a unique “Hogtown Format” competition in the heart of the city.
Zoo Outreach Organization celebrated World Oceans Day in association with VOC Park Mini Zoo in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Graduate nursing students and four teachers from J.K. College of Nursing, Coimbatore attended the program. The students enjoyed the event as it was a totally new experience for them. They learned about the uses of oceans, the threats faced by oceans, how climate change is affecting the ocean and how to mitigate the threats. They were also taught about diseases as a result of climate change and global warming. Students left this event inspired to help the ocean.
Over 100 AZA-accredited zoo, aquariums, and museums celebrated World Oceans Day this year! Here are a few photos from those celebrations. We’ll update you later on some of the fun activities these institutions held.
We (the partners listed below) were overwhelmed by the wonderful submissions to the First Annual World Oceans Day Photo Contest ! We are pleased to announce the winners in each category, and the overall winner.
The results were announced on June 9 by the Under-Secretary-General, the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, during a reception held in New York at the United Nations on the occasion of World Oceans Day and the 20th Anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – attended by some 200 delegates and accompanied by the United Nations Orchestra Quartet.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo, for sharing your superb images, and helping us convey the beauty and importance of the oceans to the world. Thanks also to the judges from around the world who helped pick the winners. See below for winning images and also on the World Oceans Day Photo Contest web page.
Thanks once again for all of those who participated in this first annual World Oceans Day photo contest, and congratulations to the winners!
This is only the beginning for the winners’ images, as we are coordinating ways to showcase these amazing photos through physical exhibits with partners around world, so that oceans are not only recognized on June 8, but also during all 365 days of the year. The photos will be accompanied by a narrative that will underscore the importance of the oceans for humanity. We are pleased to announce that the launch of this exhibit will take place in Marseilles, France, at the 41st annual World Festival of Underwater Images (Oct 30 – Nov 2) with the generous support of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
If your organization or institution is interested in exhibiting these winning photos, please contact Bill Mott at: bmott (at) theoceanproject.org. We would also like to thank the following partners who have already confirmed that they will be hosting the winning photos exhibit in 2014 and 2015:
We want to highlight some of the celebrations – events, releases, proclamations – held around the world in a World Oceans Day 2014 summary report. We are also seeking ways to improve this growing event for 2015 and beyond.
Please take a few minutes to let us how it went for you, send us any photos you took, and provide helpful feedback and suggestions. You can upload multiple photos by clicking the “upload” button again after submitting a photo. Thank you and we greatly appreciate your time!
Note: By uploading your photos you are giving us permission to use the photos in our non-commercial materials (with credit).
Happy World Oceans Day! People around the globe have been celebrating all weekend, and the ocean fun is just beginning. Here are some ways you can join in:
Everyone can do something for the ocean! Get out in your community to help, or make a promise to change something in your life for the ocean. Take a photo and share it with the world by tagging it #WorldOceansDay. Check out what other people have done!
You can also share World Oceans Day with your friends and family on social media.
Click here to post on Twitter about World Oceans Day. OR,
Change your Facebook profile picture and cover photo.
It’s World Oceans Day weekend, so wear blue! Share two facts about the ocean, or two ways to help protect it and its wildlife. Then – ask them to pass it on. Click here for more information.
Get an ocean-friendly t-shirt. Help us reach our t-shirt goal by purchasing a World Oceans Day t-shirt – show off your ocean pride and $10 of each shirt will go to support future World Oceans Day celebrations. We need your help!
100% of proceeds from this song go towards supporting World Oceans Day as an opportunity to rally the world for action. Listen for free, you choose what you pay to download.
Looking for other ways to help? Check out these blogs on how you can personally take action for the ocean today:
Or find a World Oceans Day event near you!
This is a guest post by Daniel Heffron of Environmental Justice Foundation
To celebrate World Oceans Day, Sunday 8th June 2014, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is teaming up with leading restaurants to raise awareness and essential funds to protect vulnerable marine species and habitats, combat illegal ‘pirate’ fishing and promote sustainable fisheries globally.
Over the past two years, 43 restaurants with 32 Michelin stars between them, have raised £20,000 for EJF’s Oceans Campaign, and this year’s Save the Sea Restaurant Campaign is already supported by 45 restaurants, including culinary greats Martin Wishart, Shaun Rankin and Andy Waters, as well as all nine branches of London’s Feng Sushi, and Burnt Ends Restaurant in Singapore.
For the month of June, participating restaurants are promoting sustainable seafood and raising awareness of the need to protect marine biodiversity, as well as demonstrating how sustainable sourcing and consumer choices can help protect oceans and keep seafood on our menus in the long-term.
Restaurants are adding an opt-out £1 donation onto every bill or offering a sustainable seafood dish with a £1 donation included in the menu price. 100% of funds raised will directly support EJF’s Oceans Campaign in West Africa, which empowers coastal communities to combat illegal fishing and to protect their fish stocks and marine environments. By protecting the diverse and rich waters of West Africa, EJF aims to ensure the livelihoods and food security of coastal communities who depend greatly on the fish as a source of protein.
EJF’s work has resulted in prosecutions, fines and the eradication of illegal fishing vessels from areas reserved for artisanal fishers in Sierra Leone. This initiative for World Oceans Day aims to highlight how UK restaurants and can make a huge difference closer to home by sourcing and choosing sustainable caught fish caught using environmentally friendly methods.
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) or ‘pirate’ fishing has been identified as one of the most serious threats to the world’s fisheries. Globally, pirate fishing is estimated to be worth US $10-23 billion annually, representing up to an estimated 30% of the world’s total catch. By ignoring national and international laws and regulations, pirate fishing fleets are destroying marine habitats, decimating wildlife and undermining vulnerable coastal communities that depend upon natural marine resources for their food security and livelihoods.
EJF’s Oceans Campaign aims to eradicate ‘pirate’ fishing. EJF is working to create full transparency and traceability within seafood supply chains and markets and to actively promote improvements to policy-making, corporate governance and management of fisheries along with consumer activism and market-driven solutions.
We’re delighted to have such great support from so many restaurants, and what a perfect time to celebrate sustainable fish than for World Oceans Day!
You can see a list of all the participating restaurants you can visit to celebrate World Oceans Day 2014: http://www.ejfoundation.org/savethesea
—Daniel Heffron of Environmental Justice Foundation
June 8th is just around the corner – we can’t believe it’s come so quickly! But don’t freak out, it’s NOT too late to do something for the ocean. Here are some last-minute, quick n’ easy ways to do something to celebrate World Oceans Day and help out our ocean.
Wherever you work or play, you can make talking about World Oceans Day and ocean conservation easy. Just wear a blue shirt or other noticeable article of clothing and ask people if they know why! Share two facts about the ocean, or two ways that they can help protect it and its wildlife. Then – ask them to pass it on. Click here for more information.
Getting your visitors, neighborhood, or any group of friendly folks together is a wonderful opportunity to make some art! Create a mural somewhere public – depict ocean animals, or display your community’s ocean promises. An even easier option is to do a sidewalk mural or art piece. You can even make eco-friendly sidewalk chalk at home!
Set up an ocean scavenger or treasure hunt with many small ocean-themed prizes such as T-shirts, bookmarks, aquarium passes, etc. Consider providing maps with fun ocean-related facts on them.
It’s great to get hundreds of community members out cleaning the beach or river, but it’s not the only kind of cleanup that makes a difference! Grab a few friends or family members and make an outing of it. Go visit your favorite beach, river, lake, or park for a picnic and bring some bags for trash.
Go further: Organize a small cleanup with your sports club or classroom. You can even use World Oceans Day as an opportunity to announce that you plan to “adopt” your site and keep it clean regularly! Check out our quick guide for everything you may need.
Try holding an environmental mini film festival at your school, at home with your friends and family, place of worship, or at a community center. Screen an environmentally-minded film such as The Story of Stuff or Food, Inc. Many of these films can be found on cheap or rental websites such as Netflix or Amazon, so check them out before buying.
Invite friends and family over for a dinner party featuring locally, sustainably caught or farmed seafood and other (ideally) local foods. Click here to see some great recipes. Send your guests on their way with a full stomach, and a newly downloaded copy of a sustainable seafood app for their phones – try Seafood Watch if you’re in the US!
If you can’t organize an event in person, show your support for World Oceans Day online. Share the event with your friends and family however you like. If you use social media, try sharing a post about World Oceans Day.
For people who use Facebook, change your cover photo to this banner to support the day!
On June 8th 2014, people in communities around the globe will celebrate this year’s World Oceans Day with the theme of “Together we have the power to protect the ocean.” Hundreds of events are planned to help people get involved in solutions for a healthy ocean and society – by supporting clean energy choices, trash-free coasts and beaches, sustainable seafood, and more.
“In addition to events in dozens of countries, we invite everyone to take ocean conservation personally by making a commitment and then sharing a selfie for the sea,” said World Oceans Day coordinator, Alyssa Isakower. “We can each do something to help protect our ocean!”
A small action on your part multiplied by thousands around the world can contribute to a significant collective impact. Here are our top three:
Show the world that you are part of the growing movement of people taking personal action for our ocean, take a selfie showing how you’re helping the ocean or make a promise, and post with #WorldOceansDay! Learn more: http://WorldOceansDay.org/promise.
Get out and celebrate! The number of events keeps increases increasing, with celebrations around the world, at aquariums, zoos, museums, youth groups, businesses, schools, even online.
Just a few of the events planned worldwide:
Magnetic Island, Australia: The Base Backpackers celebration on beautiful Nelly Bay beach features a cleanup, marine talks, beach games, stalls, a beach BBQ, short films, and music.
Miami, FL: The Miami Underwater Festival is a two-day celebration held at Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and Knight Plaza in downtown Miami. Events include fun family workshops, community art project, sailing activities, scavenger hunts, pop-up live science with marine-themed performances, interactive demos, “life-size” games, and a giant inflatable shark.
Seattle, Washington: Join Seattle Aquarium’s youth-led World Oceans Day weekend and learn how you can be an Ocean Hero. Hands-on activities and special talks will highlight what guests can do to be ocean heroes on an individual, community and civic level, from helping protect our corals from ocean acidification to reducing the use of plastics in our lives.
Durban, South Africa: Paddle out for sharks – divers, surfers, scientists, anglers, and others will celebrate by ‘Paddling Out’ to highlight the plight of sharks. Hundreds celebrated last year, and this year will include sister events throughout South Africa, Australia, and Mozambique.
Liverpool, UK: This student-run weekend of fun and games is hosted by University of Liverpool and The Liverpool World Museum. There’s going to be a whole host of activities and arts and crafts for children and adults: face paints, mermaid puppet shows, and representatives from several marine charities and organizations to educate on marine conservation issues.
Hong Kong: Ocean Park has several fun events focused specifically on preventing ocean trash. Visitors can make a pledge to protect the ocean, attend upcycling workshops and art exhibition jointly with local green groups, enjoy a “local fishermen fun day” for local fishermen and their families, and help out at a beach cleanup.
Fujisawa-city, Japan: World Oceans Day Japan will celebrate again this year with a big festival, aerial art on the beach, sand art workshops, and beach and underwater cleanups.
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.
We’d like to announce our new partnership with independent media company Silvergate Media for its brand Octonauts – we’re providing coloring sheets and graphics for partners who want to incorporate Octonauts into their event.
The full kit is very large because the files are print resolution. The full activity kit includes:
Click here to download the FULL activity kit
There are 2 zip files in this download.
The mini kit include images appropriately sized for use on the internet.
US-based, AZA accredited partners: We’re offering a selection of free Octonatus-themed stickers that you can use at your event! We estimate about at most 400 stickers per institution to be mailed on a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited! Email me your name, institution, ballpark estimate of how many items you’d like, and mailing address/instructions to receive these freebies.