World Oceans Day is the official UN-designated international day of ocean celebration. On June 8th each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it.
“We have to ensure that oceans continue to meet our needs without compromising those of future generations. They regulate the planet’s climate and are a significant source of nutrition. Their surface provides essential passage for global trade, while their depths hold current and future solutions to humanity’s energy needs.”
— Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year.
Since 2002, The Ocean Project has promoted and coordinated this event. Among other things, we have created the website and social media platforms, and provided other tools and resources for organizations and individuals around the world to use for free, all to help raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.
Together with the World Ocean Network, from 2003 to 2008 we developed and widely circulated a petition to the United Nations urging them to officially recognize World Oceans Day. With help from our partner organizations, tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world signed online or paper copies of the petition. Official recognition of World Oceans Day by the United Nations provided an important boost to those organizations and individuals who have been deeply committed to ocean conservation and is an important step toward improving the health of our world’s ocean.
In helping to build a World Oceans Day network of partners around our planet, we collaborate with hundreds of organizations and networks, including aquariums, zoos, museums, youth groups, sailors, divers, swimmers and other recreational interest groups, governments, conservation organizations, universities, schools, businesses and many others, including the World Ocean Network and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations mark June 8th as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
The Ocean Project recognizes that there is one global ocean that connects us all. Within our one ocean, there are five distinct oceans: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and Southern Ocean. Until 2009, we promoted “World Ocean Day” but added the “s” after the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in late 2008 officially recognizing June 8th as World Oceans Day. Perhaps one day the UN will embrace the singular “Ocean” but in the meantime, we are following the UN-designated use of World Oceans Day to show solidarity for the conservation of this important resource that connects us all.
We need your help to grow this event and spread its positive impact. We hope you will be involved in planning or participating in a World Oceans Day celebration near you! Have a look around the rest of the World Oceans Day website, which was developed as a free resource for everyone in the world to use. List your celebration and find others on our global community map, get celebration ideas, access media and outreach resources, and more!