Monday, June 8, 2009

World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is an opportunity for us to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the global community in connection with the oceans. Our oceans are our lifeblood - they provide us with food, power our climate, and are a critical part of our biospher. We are intricately tied to the health of the oceans and our survival hangs in the delicate balance that is our oceans. We could not survive without the oceans and even slight changes in the oceans can disrupt them to the point of collapse.

As we raise awareness of our oceans today, we realize that they are not as healthy as they can or should be. Overfishing has decimated many regions of the oceans and this activity affects not just the species that live there, but other species and people that depend on them. In the early 1990's, the cod stock in the Atlantic collapsed which closed the fishery industry in Canada. Over 40,000 people lost their jobs and the people and communities affected are still struggling to recover. The marine ecosystem has still not recovered and may never recover from these devasting events. Red snapper fisheries off the coast of South America are close to collapse and we cannot let what happened with the cod fisheries happen again.

Some of you may be familiar with coral reef bleaching. This happens when coral reefs die because they are living, breathing species. Many species depend on coral reefs not just for food, but also for shelter. All species need the oceans, but only the human species can help save them.

To help promote their collective ocean conservation message on World Oceans Day, The Ocean Project has a campaign called "Wear Blue and Tell Two." The campaign is in response to a recent public opinion survey that showed that the public is looking to zoos, aquariums, and museums to learn more about issues affecting the oceans and how they can take action to help the oceans. I ask each of you today to wear blue in honor of the ocean and to tell people two things they don't know about our oceans.

Two facts that you should know:
  • The oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe. No oceans, no oxygen. It's as simple as that.

  • The oceans regulate our climate. There has been so much talk in recent years about global climate change and the oceans are the first to feel the effects of these changes.

So get out your blue and spread the message! We have taken the oceans for granted for far too long and now we are suffering the consequences. I want you to change your perspective about how you view the oceans. Think about the inspiration you draw from sitting on an ocean beach staring into its vastness. I want you to learn about what the oceans have to offer. I'm not just talking about food here, but about the thousands of species of plants and animals that inhabit each ocean. The oceans are their homes, yet we need the oceans as much as they do. I want you to change your ways in relation to the oceans. Do you part to minimize the impact your actions have on the planet and these small changes will help the oceans. And lastly, celebrate the oceans no matter where you live. Mom loves the ocean and when she is on an ocean beach she feels like she is at home. She says that she belongs on the beach, bowing her head to the oceans to thank them for all they give her.

In typical Mom fashion, she is wearing a blue sea turtle t-shirt today. She gets a t-shirt every year she goes to Wassaw Island and this shirt is from last year. It has the name of the project and a beautiful loggerhead drawn by the assistant director of the project Mike Frick. Do you see what it says on the t-shirt? "Protecting Georgia's Sea Turtles since 1973...". That's a long time, but there's still lots of work to do. By helping the oceans you are helping the sea turtles and for this Mom says thank you.

2 comments:

Apollo-of the Greek God's Pug said...

Thanks for the info Stubby. My Mommy loves the ocean. Since she didn't know about World Oceans Day, she's not wearing blue; so she printed off the picture and pinned it to her shirt.

Stubby said...

Apollo - What a great idea! Printing the picture and pinning it on a shirt is so smart. You are so lucky to have such a smart mom.

Maybe one day we can both visit the ocean with our moms.

Stubby xoxo