World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateJune 8, 2024
2025 DateJune 8, 2025

World Oceans Day

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World Oceans Day History

World Oceans Day is an international observance dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of preserving our oceans and promoting sustainable use of marine resources. This annual event highlights the crucial role oceans play for the life of our planet and for human well-being, as they provide food, regulate our climate, and generate a significant portion of the oxygen we inhale. It also seeks to draw attention to various pressing issues concerning our oceans, such as pollution, endangered marine species, and the impacts of climate change, and to encourage individual, community, and government action for ocean conservation.

Though initially proposed in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day was officially designated by the United Nations in 2008. For Americans, this observance is particularly significant; the United States has the largest Exclusive Economic Zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from the coastline, offering extensive marine resources. Additionally, almost 40% of the country’s population lives in coastal areas, relying on the ocean for their livelihood, recreation, and overall well-being. Hence, preserving the health and sustainability of our oceans directly impacts the lives of millions of Americans, making the purpose of World Oceans Day all the more relevant.

In the United States, various events, activities, and educational initiatives take place on World Oceans Day to promote ocean conservation and encourage awareness. These include organizing beach clean-ups, educational seminars, art exhibits, and social media campaigns, all striving to engage communities in protecting and preserving our marine ecosystems. Although World Oceans Day is a global observance, it serves as a crucial reminder to Americans of the importance of maintaining the health and vitality of the country's vast oceanic resources. This observance takes place every year on June 8th, providing an opportunity for people across America, and the world, to come together and celebrate the beauty and significance of our oceans.

World Oceans Day facts

  • The world's oceans have a combined area of approximately 361 million square kilometers (139 million square miles). The Pacific Ocean is the largest and covers about 63 million square miles (165 million square kilometers).
  • The average depth of the world's oceans is about 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, reaching a depth of about 10,928 meters (35,856 feet).
  • It is estimated that approximately 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year.
  • According to the National Ocean Service, in 2022, only about 35% of U.S. Ocean and coastal waters have been mapped with modern technology.
  • If all of the Earth's ice melted, the oceans would rise 66m and flood all low-lying ground.
  • The lowest point on the planet is located in Mariana's Trench in the western Pacific. The point, known as Challenger Deep, is 11,034m deep. (Mt. Everest is only 8,848m tall).

Top things to do in the US for World Oceans Day

  • If you live near an ocean, spend time swimming in the water, sailing, surfing or just walking along the beach. If you don't live near an ocean, plan a trip to enjoy ocean.
  • Get your scuba diving license. Every city offers scuba lessons to prepare you see the underwater world. PADI and SDI are two well-known and reputable companies that offer certification courses. You cannot scuba dive without certification.
  • Join the Wear Blue, Tell Two campaign. Wear blue clothes and share two ocean facts with friends.
  • Watch one of many documentaries about oceans. Some of our favorites: The Death of the Oceans, Garbage Island, Plastic Seas, Deep Sea and Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification
  • Host a waterside cleanup or adopt a local waterside and do your part to help the oceans and its wildlife. World Oceans Day website offers a tool kit to help set up these activities.

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