Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
In all the hubbub of Earth Day, it's easy to get caught up in land-bound activities and conservation, and forget about the oceans. But here is one announcement that the oceans will particularly be thankful for. The United Nations, after 16 years of tabling it, have finally made June 8 World Oceans Day. First proposed back in 1992 at the Earth Summit by the Government of Canada, it took activists from Oceana and and other conservation and ocean protection groups signing petitions by the thousands to get the UN to finally make it official. But now we can recognize June 8 as World Oceans Day.
"We applaud the United Nations for formally establishing a day for the other 71 percent of the planet," said Andrew Sharpless, C.E.O. of Oceana. "Making World Oceans Day official will help us and other ocean groups to engage more people and to increase public support for efforts to reverse the declining health of marine ecosystems."
June 8 has been the unofficial day since 1992, so it won't be a big change. But it is a nice feeling to know that it's now more than just a side-note day. The U.N. will organize events to be held on World Oceans Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Oceana is also working on a big event, planning its largest-ever celebration in 2009 in honor of the now official World Oceans Day.