|World Oceans Day 2012. Photo by Nautical Sites Media.|
Each year on June 8th, World Oceans Day is celebrated all over the world. In many parts of the US, such as the Northeast where we are based, World Oceans Day occurs at the beginning of the boating season. Perhaps the timing is meant to remind us that the ocean is precious to everyone, but especially to us boaters. The ocean is where we boat - where we swim - where we fish - where we live.
World Oceans Day give us boaters an opportunity to consider what we can do to keep our oceans sustainable for ourselves and future generations...
Happy? World Oceans Day
Today is World Oceans Day, a day when people around the globe come together to celebrate our ocean and take action to protect it. And many of the people taking acting don't even boat or fish in the ocean! These folks care about the ocean because it makes our world livable - it provides us with food, water, commerce and medicine. Those of us who also use the ocean for recreation should consider going above and beyond to ensure the ocean's survival.
According to worldoceansday.org, the ocean has suffered some serious blows lately: 90% of the big fish in the sea are gone, there is more plastic gathering in floating masses than previously estimated, the Deepwater Horizon disaster dumped nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico just a couple of years ago, and coastal dead zones from agricultural runoff are worse than ever.
The ocean has definitely seen rough times lately, and World Oceans Day is a good opportunity to rally and start turning things around - especially for those of us who boat.
Recent surveys reveal that Americans care about the ocean, but we've got issues...
We don’t realize the ocean is in danger
Most Americans think that the ocean is healthy and “too vast” for individual action to have an impact. (The exception to this is in the wake of catastrophic events such as the Deep Water Horizon disaster – see below). In fact, the American public believes that ocean waters bordering the US are significantly less imperiled than are “foreign” waters.
We have short attention span
In the wake of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the American public was very concerned about the health of the ocean, believing it to be threatened. But in a few short months (by Aug 2010 – four months after initial explosion), the level of concern was on the decline. Do you even remember this news item? See The Ocean Project’s April 2011 blog post for more details.
We feel powerless to affect ocean & environmental issues
‘My actions have little impact on ocean health.’ is the general sentiment when respondents are asked ‘In your opinion, how much of an impact can individual people have on solving our environmental problems?’. Even more troubling: 40% responded ‘None” or – “Not very much.’
But you can do more than you think you can. You can make a difference. Starting today, take action for our world ocean. There are hundreds of events being held all over the world - find one near you and celebrate with a purpose this World Oceans Day!