Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald
Column By Melissa Martin
My favorite vacation spot is any place with an ocean and a beach — God’s natural playground created for fun in the sun. And during summer beach vacations, families can educate themselves about ocean clean-up and conservation.
Oceans cover 71 percent of the planet and are home to important species and ecosystems that humans rely on for food, livelihoods, climate regulation, travel, relaxation, and so much more.
Whether you visit Myrtle Beach, the Outer Banks, Cape Cod, Daytona Beach, Malibu Beach — American beaches buzz with summer activities. Whether you fly or cruise to the Bahamas or other countries on planet Earth — beaches abroad buzz with tourism and adventure.
World Oceans Day, a global day of ocean celebration, is held annually in June. “On World Oceans Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all.” www.worldoceansday.org.
A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. The ocean is important because it: generates most of the oxygen we breathe; helps feed us; regulates our climate; cleans the water we drink; offers a pharmacopeia of medicines, and provides limitless inspiration.
The Ocean Project helps lead global promotion and coordination of World Oceans Day. This watery initiative advances conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums, and youth. Since 2002, The Ocean Project has also been the global leader for promoting and coordinating World Oceans Day, to rally the world in June and growing action year-round.
For 2019, the theme, Together We Can, focused on what we can all do together to create a healthy ocean and better future. Millions of people virtually joined hands around the world to show their support for protecting our shared ocean.
More than 800,000 members and activists in over 200 countries have already joined Oceana – the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation.
The Commonwealth Blue Charter is an agreement by 53 Commonwealth countries to actively co-operate to solve ocean-related problems and meet commitments for sustainable ocean development. www.bluecharter.thecommonwealth.org.
Kudos to Youth
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, with 24 members ages 16 – 23 from 20 diverse countries, provides new and unique perspectives, ideas and recommendations for rallying the world for our ocean. With continued engagement year-round, Council members help shape the development of World Oceans Day by inspiring actions, big and small, that provide opportunities for ocean conservation 365 days a year.
Teach Children about Oceans
Watch the Splash and Bubbles video episodes at www.pbskids.org.
A new illustrated book, co-published by the Commonwealth, seeks to educate children about seabed minerals and the impacts of their exploitation through deep sea mining. “Treasures of the Deep” is a story of three friends that descend in a submarine to the depths of the ocean, where they learn about exotic ecosystems and rich mineral deposits on the seafloor. It raises questions regarding the balance between exploitation and conservation and asks the reader to consider all elements. www.thecommonwealth.org.
Americans and the Oceans
“The ways people are hardwired shapes our attitudes and behaviors on the pressing issues of the day. The good news for ocean protection advocates is that not only do Americans deeply love the ocean, but they also want to make sure policies protect the ocean for future generations.” www.theoceanproject.org.
“People protect what they love.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio.