Paint a poster and wave it proudly in a parade. Pitch in by picking up plastic debris along a waterway. Shoot a powerful email to your elected officials.
If you are eager to share your passion for protecting precious oceans, rivers, and streams, World Oceans Day, which is June 8, offers a perfect opportunity. Lively festivals, rallies, and film screenings are among the hundreds of World Oceans Day weekend events around the planet — on land, at sea, and even online.
In 2018, March for the Ocean in Washington, D.C. served as the main attraction. For 2019, March for the Ocean is focusing on regional events. “Dozens [of events are] being added every day,” says Samantha Mackiewicz, director of World Oceans Day. “The events are educational, meaningful, and impactful.”
Powerful Photo Ops
Save Our Shores in Santa Cruz, California, is organizing a walk overlooking popular surfing sites in the Pacific Ocean, with an important photo op at a key point.
Participants, wearing blue — a unifying hue for March for the Ocean events — link hands and form a human chain marking projected sea level rise by 2100. The line for projected future sea level rise approaches hotels, shops, and famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk amusement park, eliminating most of a yellow-sand beach, says Rod Caborn of Save Our Shores.
With that powerful visual display, organizers want to share aerial photographs of the human chain on social media, encouraging the public and politicians to take issues related to climate change seriously, Caborn says.
Location, Location, Location
Several chapters of Inland Ocean Coalition, including chapters in Utah and Colorado, are organizing events that showcase the role individuals and communities play in affecting our waterways — regardless of where they reside.
“The (events) celebrate community and land-to-sea stewardship,” says Vicki Goldstein, founder and executive director of Inland Ocean Coalition.
“Chapters … are encouraging individuals and communities to take an active role in improving the impacts and relationships between the inland, the coasts, and the ocean,” Goldstein says.
Showcasing Ocean Debris Through Art
In South Florida, a family-friendly festival includes eco-friendly vendors, educational displays, and art pieces formed with flip-flops, plastic pails, and straws and other debris picked up along the local shoreline.
The event is designed to “create awareness on the single-use plastic and styrofoam free ordinances in place in the City of Hollywood that are helping improve our oceans and the quality of life for the fish, birds, mammals and more,” says Manon Wiese, executive director of Free Our Seas & Beyond.
Inspiring Action to Change
This video from the 2018 Cozumel, Mexico, March for the Ocean event, encapsulates participants’ dedication to preserving and restoring Earth’s ocean ecosystem. Cozumel will host another March for the Ocean event on June 8, 2019.
World Oceans Day events will take place all around the world. To find an event near you, use the World Oceans Day event map. Here are a few of the upcoming events.
- World Oceans Day Ventura includes family-friendly festivities on June 7 at Harbor Cove Beach in Ventura, California. It will feature live entertainment, plastic-free food and drinks, games, and a panel of ocean experts. Beach clean-up is June 8 is at Surfer’s Point and Ventura Pier.
- The New York Aquarium is organizing a March for the Ocean parade on the Coney Island Boardwalk on June 8. To focus attention on plastic pollution, some participants are using plastic debris to design costumes and decorate bikes and wagons.
- March for the Ocean Cozumel, June 8, includes a walk along the coastline with a marching band. Stops along the way feature yoga instructors leading a 10-minute ocean breathing exercise.
- University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, in partnership with Corpus Christi Hooks Baseball Club and Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation Chapter, are working on beach and marsh clean-ups on Mustang and San Jose Islands.
- A live streaming event on Facebook will feature a World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council member speaking at TedxVicenza.
- Sea Youth Rise Up event will stream live June 7, on Facebook.
World Oceans Day and March for the Ocean websites provide resources for those who’d like to promote or attend an event.
- Searchable worldwide event map
- Promotional materials
- Plastic pollution resources
- Youth Advisory Council resources
- Other resources
Share your photos and let us know how you participated in World Oceans Day and March for the Ocean!
Feature image courtesy of World Oceans Day