On 8 June each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how each of us can protect it, no matter where we live. World Oceans Day raises the profile of the ocean, connects people worldwide, and inspires continuing action year-round to protect and restore this amazing resource that we all depend on.
The Ocean Project leads global promotion and coordination of World Oceans Day. Since 2002, we have collaboratively worked in partnership with hundreds of organizations and networks from all sectors to help rally the world around 8 June, and continue to grow engagement and action for our shared ocean throughout the year. Over the last two decades, our global network of partners around our planet has grown to include more than 2,000 organizations, including youth groups, aquariums, zoos, museums, groups representing sailors, divers, swimmers and other recreational interests, the maritime industry, religious organizations, governments, the tourism sector, conservation organizations, universities, schools, businesses, celebrities, and many others. Each year an increasing number of countries and organizations mark 8 June as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea.
Thank you to the Government of Canada for proposing the concept of a World Ocean Day, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 2002, when The Ocean Project began to globally promote and coordinate World Oceans Day development and activities, there were only a handful of events in a few countries. Now, there are thousands of events in over 120 countries and a social media reach into the several billions. To help grow recognition of World Ocean Day, together with the World Ocean Network and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, from 2004 to 2008 we developed and widely circulated a petition urging the United Nations to officially recognize World Ocean Day as 8 June each year. As a result of working with hundreds of our partner organizations, and thanks to tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world who signed online and paper copies of the petition, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2008 , officially recognizing 8 June as World Oceans Day each year.
Several years ago, The Ocean Project created a World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, to have young people around the world help us to expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day, on 8 June and with continued engagement year-round. Advisory Council members are instrumental in helping shape the development of World Oceans Day as it grows, providing new and unique perspectives, ideas, and recommendations.
To help grow the reach and impact of World Oceans Day and then use those connections for year-round engagement, The Ocean Project conducts proactive outreach to all sectors and brokers connections throughout the year to increase awareness of and participation in this unique opportunity to celebrate our world's shared ocean and ways to take action, no matter where one lives. In 2003, we created a central website for World Oceans Day, to help event organizers worldwide. Each year we develop a main conservation action theme, as well as new promotional resources and actionable tools, including an annual World Oceans Day social media campaign, for organizations and individuals to use as they wish to engage their target audiences.
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.
All information, materials and resources on this site and associated with World Oceans Day are free to use to those who are celebrating World Oceans Day as a way to bring about a healthier ocean and a better future. World Oceans Day® is trademarked to protect it from those who might have commercial or counterproductive interests.