World Ocean(s) Day – honoring the sea


Our planet has orbited the sun once more to place us all in position for World Ocean Day! Originally proposed by Canada in 1992 at the UN Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Ocean Day has been celebrated in some countries since 2002. But it took global efforts with international promotions and petitions (coordinated by the Ocean Project) for the UN to finally ratify the idea in 2008.

The objective is simple: World Oceans Day “provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans.” What the day provides is a few moments to gaze up from your desk (or better yet kick off your shoes at the beach) and appreciate what the sea provides. And maybe “give back” a bit. It was under this rubric that in 2006 George W. Bush used the opportunity to create the world’s largest ocean preserve (with one of the longest names –  Papahānaumokuākea).

The day also serves as a hinge between the United Nations Ocean Conference and Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) wherein global and domestic ocean policies are deliberated and crafted – with a particular bent toward conservation.

Of course not to be outdone, our national president has proclaimed the entire month of June as “National Ocean Month,” recognizing “the importance of harnessing the seas for our national security and prosperity.” Oh well…

I truly love the ocean. Coming from a line of mariners and navigators, the ocean’s salt water runs in my blood and falls with my tears. I am grateful for the life she gives, and a bit worried about the consequences of our disregard for her gifts. This is why I do what I do. Perhaps we can all take just a moment today and love up the ocean in some way.