On June 8th each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it. World Oceans Day helps raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.
“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.”
— Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
The Ocean Project has promoted and coordinated World Oceans Day globally since 2002. We do so with a team based in the US and also advisors and volunteers in dozens of countries. We are a collaborative organization and work in partnership with hundreds of organizations, including World Ocean Network, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many other networks from all sectors.
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. Together with the World Ocean Network, from 2004 to 2008 we developed and widely circulated a petition urging the United Nations to officially recognize World Oceans Day as 8 June each year. With help from hundreds of our partner organizations, tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world signed online and paper copies of the petition. 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 8 June each year. 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.
To help grow the reach and impact of World Oceans Day and then use those connections for year-round engagement, we conduct outreach to all sectors and broker 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 focus with new tools and resources for organizations and individuals to use for free and as they wish. Over the last several years, as part of our major push to engage more youth around the world, we have invested heavily in social media for spreading the message. Based on the conservation theme of the year, we develop an annual World Oceans Day social media campaign that all our partners can tie in with to enhance their efforts. World Oceans Day® is trademarked to protect it from those who might have commercial or counterproductive interests. The information, materials, and resources on this site are free to use for those who are celebrating World Oceans Day as a way to bring about a healthier ocean and a better future.
Over the years, our global network of partners around our planet has grown to include approximately 2,000 organizations, including aquariums, zoos, museums, youth groups, sailors, divers, swimmers and other recreational interest groups, the maritime industry, governments, the tourism sector, conservation organizations, universities, schools, businesses 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.
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 to use. List your celebration and find others on our global community map, get celebration ideas, access media and outreach resources, and more!