Since June 8, 1992, people from all over this beautiful earth have celebrated one of the most important and powerful natural resources known to humankind-the oceans. Why oceans? Approximately fifty-percent of the world's oxygen is produced by phytoplankton in the water; ocean water temperatures and currents impact the climate; and great food sources still exist within our oceans.
Additionally, ocean waters allow large ships to move between continents, transporting product and people and aiding in the world economy; recreational boating and swimming occur on or near beaches around the globe; and some of the most famous and brilliant photography has been of the glorious creatures gracing the depth of our oceans.
I say "our oceans," because the world's oceans belong to all of us- every man, woman, child and creature on the face of this earth.
In recent news, piracy concerns have had global implications and more countries are taking a responsibility to help end the attacks. THIS IS OUR OCEAN.
Beachside communities around the globe organize beach clean-up days to pick up the litter and debris washed in by the waves. THIS IS OUR OCEAN.
Ecological programs and regulations expand as the awareness grows of the global influence the oceans have on the ecology of our planet. THIS IS OUR OCEAN.
The United Nations finally declares June 8th World Ocean Day. THIS IS OUR OCEAN.
Earlier today, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, released a message for World Ocean Day. His first paragraph says it all: "The first observance of World Oceans Day allows us to highlight the many ways in which oceans contribute to society. It is also an opportunity to recognize the significant challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate , supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation. "
As a shipwreck survivor, I have a special interest in keeping our seas safe for travel, but my maritime interests extend beyond just the safety of ships at sea; I have a heart for ocean ecology, for the positive contributions of the sea to our way of life, for global warming issues, and more.
The motto for this year celebration is "Our Oceans, Our Responsibility." Think about what this means and how you can step up to the responsibility.
Then, consider taking the "Seven C's Pledge" for ocean conservation as outlined and suggested by The Ocean Project: 1) Commit to making a real difference, 2) Conserve in your home, 3) Consume consciously, 4) Communicate your interests and concerns , 5) Challenge yourself daily, 6) Connect in your community, and 7) Celebrate our ocean. (Visit www.theoceanproject.com for more on the Seven C's pledge and other celebration ideas.)
THIS IS OUR OCEAN. Every one of us can do something to respect and honor the oceans of the world. Won't you join me and start today? Let me know what actions you decide to take!