Cleanups are a great way to bring people together and enact actual change for the local environment. But what can you do with a beach clean up to make it unique? Well for starters you don’t have to clean up a beach! Here are 6 quick ideas for holding a cleanup on World Oceans Day – or anytime you want to do something for your community. Click here if you’d like to download a full-length aquatic clean up guide.
Beach cleanups are great, but your event doesn’t need to be at the beach. You can stage a cleanup at the local watershed, river, wetland, or even underwater. Removing trash everywhere helps the ocean.
Try to have activities for all ages and skill groups to do, and make sure to have relaxing ocean activities for breaks.
Even if you don’t participate in the activities yourself, try to involve local interest groups such as divers or surfers. For them, the health of the beach environment is directly important to their day to day life and they may want to help out.
Have a fun activity planned for after the cleanup. Perhaps a beach BBQ, or a bonfire with s’mores. It’s a great time to get together and hang out with your local community of ocean lovers.
Why don’t you turn the day into a trash competition? Form teams and whoever picks up the most trash can win a prize (perhaps a WOD T-Shirt each).
Afterwards you can refresh everyone’s knowledge of how to dispose of trash and recycling. Perhaps you can challenge the younger participates to reuse some of their own “trash” (such as water bottles from home) for crafts.
Have you ever participated in a cleanup? What happened in it that made it fun or unique for you?
Are you planning to organize a celebration for World Oceans Day 2015? Tell us now and stay in touch!
Banner credit to KIDS OCEAN DAY
Young people will one day run the world and make important decisions about the environment they live in. But will they care enough to protect the ocean? Teaching about ocean issues and hosting a World Oceans Day event at your school can help shape their future selves, and there are great benefits now as well!
Young people have more power than they think. Research into American households has shown us that parents listen to their children about the environment, and believe that the younger generation are good sources of information about this topic. Parents may look to their children on these issues, which gives students a lot of influence on their home’s conservation-related behaviors. If we want to help the world, your students are the perfect people to lead the charge.
Our research also shows that youth are already interested in environmental issues: the majority of youth under 20 agree ‘confronting climate change” should be a top priority for the government. Youth have the highest level of concern over the world’s oceans, and are most likely to want to take action to help. However, many feel that they need to know more about the issue. This is where schools come in!
Young people care about the environment, but how do you start that conversation? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some general ways to approach ocean issues with different age groups from educator David Sobel.
For ages 3-7 years, it is better to focus on empathy towards the natural world instead of anything too overwhelming or scary. By creating attachments to ocean creatures, children will learn to care about this world that looks so different, but is still connected to our own. Engage children with stories, songs, and games about the ocean and the creatures that live in it.
For ages 7-11 years, it is important to expand their knowledge and focus on exploration of the natural world. Let children of this age spend time outside and interact with their natural environment. If you can take a field trip to the beach or local watershed, it would benefit the children greatly. Teach them about how vast the ocean is and how we haven’t even explored it all yet.
With tweens and teens, you can start talking to them about environmental problems that threaten the ocean, and how we can help. It’s important to emphasis the agency your students have and how they can help the world. Engage them with interactive activities that allow them to think of ways to make the world more “ocean friendly.”
Using the internet and technology can be a great way to engage teens on ocean action. Perhaps start a class ocean blog, where each student must write a few short posts about an ocean issue that is interesting to them. Hands on learning, and experimenting in the “real world” is also quite helpful to reach youth.
You can also implement a World Oceans Day celebration in your school that everyone can enjoy. Not sure where to start? Check out what 10 schools around the globe did in 2014 to celebrate! You can also go here to find resources to teach about the planet in middle, and high school classrooms.
Hosting an event like World Oceans Day in your school can lead to action in your students. Youth have been some of the leaders in the environmental awareness charge. Your celebration can big as small as having an “ocean day” in class, or as big as a month-long or semester-long project! Here are some examples and resources:
Photo at top from USM Scuba Diving Club’s Ocean Awareness Week!
For years, divers have celebrated World Oceans Day around June 8th. Divers are in a unique position to bridge the gap between land and the ocean. Since divers have direct access to the mysterious underwater world, they are vital ambassadors to a public that otherwise doesn’t get to see the beauty of the ocean – or the threats that it faces.
For 2015, we’re inviting dive shops to celebrate World Oceans Day in a big way. As important community centers, and leaders, your shop can make a big difference for your local environment and in the hearts of the divers you work with.
Check back in the coming months for celebration ideas that will help you organize a World Oceans Day event at your shop – but until then, you can start the conversation right now!
Broaching the subject of conservation, especially when you don’t know what the other party believes can be difficult, so here are some ideas on how to talk to people about the ocean you love.
Many divers care about the ocean and are taking an active role in protecting it. The aforementioned Project Aware is a group of thousands of divers who are working together to save the ocean. The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) also has a green diver initiative where they help individuals make a difference. PADI also has a green star award program to reward PADI Dive Centers and Resorts who are helping their ocean environment. You can reach out today and figure out the best ways to help the ocean!
http://www.projectaware.org/resources – Materials including action kits and posters for divers to use in conservation activities.
http://www.divethereef.com/Guides/ReefCare.asp – Ways for divers to take care of the reef.
http://www.projectaware.org/project/10Tips – Additional tip list for divers.
Image of diver in banner via Shutterstock
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