June 8, 2016

10 Ways to Celebrate the Ocean

Whether you live on the coast, or thousands of miles inland, the ocean plays an important part in our daily lives. It provides the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat, regulates our climate and provides us with hours of relaxation and enjoyment. Protecting this natural resource is essential to our well-being.

10 Ways to Celebrate the Ocean

Today, June 8, is World Oceans Daya holiday designated by the United Nations to help us remember we are all connected to the oceans no matter where we live. This year's theme is "healthy oceans, healthy planet", encouraging people and organizations to specifically work toward eliminating plastic pollution from our waterways. 

In honour of this special day, I'm sharing 10 easy ways to celebrate the ocean, today and every other day of the year. I strongly believe that in order to protect something, you must first love it. But in order to love something, you must also have a connection with it.  Building that connection starts with #1...

10 Ways to Celebrate the Ocean

Take some time to learn about the ocean, the animals that call it home, and how it affects our daily life. There are many websites, books and publications to read. 

Go to the beach
What better way to celebrate the day then to go straight to the source. Taking a trip to the ocean will give first hand experience and that connection you need to start protecting this precious resource. Not near the ocean? Then find the nearest body of water and enjoy a relaxing and inspiring day along the shore. 

Visit an Aquarium
If you can't get to the beach, then visit your nearest Aquarium to learn all about the species that call our aquatic environments home! Aquariums allow you to experience marine life that you wouldn't otherwise encounter, and have graet research and conservation programs to protect our marine resources. In order to protect something, you must love it, and in order to love it, you must first have a connection with it. Experiencing the creatures of the ocean first hand at your local Aquarium will help foster that connection.

Organize a shoreline cleanup
Aquatic debris is one of the biggest threats to our oceans and waterways. Help keep the marine and fresh water environments clean by rallying up members of your family, friends and local community and participating in a shoreline cleanup! Programs like the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF's Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup are a great start to take a stand against shoreline litter.

Conserve water
In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds. So, take a shorter, cooler, shower, turn off the tap when you're brushing your teeth and only run the dishwasher when its full.

Ban the bag
Plastic bags are a convenient way to carry our purchased goods when we go shopping, however, this convenience also carries with it a very high cost to the environment. Because they are so lightweight, plastic bags can travel long distances by wind and water. They litter our landscapes and pollute our waterways, and as a result, are often mistaken as food by animals, such as the jelly fish loving sea turtle. Once they get into our waterways, the petroleum-based plastic bags do not truly degrade, but instead photo degrade  What does occur is that when out in the environment, the plastic breaks up into tiny little pieces that end up in the ocean to be consumed by wildlife. Today, there are an estimated 1,000,000 plastic fragments floating within every square mile of our world’s oceans!

Enjoy sustainable seafood
Making sustainable seafood choices is about supporting solutions for healthier oceans. This doesn't mean we need to stop eating seafood all together, but we can make sure the seafood that we do eat is caught in a sustainable manner. Sustainable seafood is seafood fished or farmed in a manner that can maintain or increase production in the long term, without jeopardizing the health or function of the web of life in our oceans. Check out programs like the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's SeaChoice, Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch and Vancouver Aquarium's OceanWise to make sure the seafood you enjoy eating is sustainable!

Go reusable
We use a ton of plastic - it's in everything from packaging, toys, clothing and vehicles, and the majority of discarded plastic ends up in the oceans. In fact, 8 out of every 10 items collected on the beach is some type of plastic product. Plastics do not biodegrade, but instead photodegrade, breaking down into tinier and tinier pieces that remain in the oceans and are often mistaken for food by marine life. They also contains toxins which are harmful to the marine environment and can entangle wildlife. So, do you part and ban the use of one-time use plastic bottles and shopping bags. Go reusable!

Support organizations working to protect the ocean
From universities to non-profits, many institutes and organizations are fighting to protect ocean habitats and marine wildlife. Find an organization and consider giving financial support or volunteering for hands-on work or advocacy. If you live near the coast, get involved in projects close to home! Similarly, support businesses that sell ocean-friendly products.

Spread the word on the importance of our ocean's health! Remember that healthy oceans mean a healthy planet. 

How are you celebrating the ocean today?



  1. I love this :) I wish I was close enough to the beach to celebrate at the beach today!

    1. I would love to be at the beach right now! With a fruit drink and good book in hand.

  2. I love the ocean. It is one of my favorite places to visit - so calming. :)

    1. I definitely agree, everything's better at the beach!


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