As summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, there are undoubtedly many beach days on the horizon, each of which are sure to be spent basking under the sun and splashing around in the ocean. So basically, now is the perfect time to honor our oceans with a holiday like World Oceans Day. But what is World Oceans Day exactly? This annual holiday aims to remind people all around the world of how important it is to protect our major oceans.
With the United Nations-hosted holiday coming up this week, here’s everything you need to know about World Oceans Day, including facts about the holiday, this year’s theme, activities you can do to celebrate, and more.
What is World Oceans Day? Aka World Ocean Day, the holiday is on June 8, 2022 — here are some facts about the holiday's history.
According to the UN, the holiday’s mission is “to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans.”
June 8 is also observed as World Ocean Day (that’s a singular “ocean”). According to the World Ocean Day organization’s website, the holiday was originally proposed as World Ocean Day by Canada back in 1992, at the Rio Earth Summit. The organization the Ocean Project began organizing the holiday in 2002, and it was celebrated independently every year through 2008.
In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly formally recognized the holiday, and added the “s,” officially declaring every June 8 as World Oceans Day. In 2021, the World Ocean Day organization decided to remove the “s” from its promotion of the holiday, restoring its original name, in an effort to remind people that “one world ocean connects us all!”
So basically, you can refer to the holiday with either an “s” or without one — as long as you are referring to the holiday at all!
The World Oceans Day 2022 theme is all about climate action.
The theme for World Oceans Day 2022 is "Revitalization: collective action for the ocean," according to the UN. The theme sets out to highlight how desperately we need to restore our world’s oceans, and to encourage people to get involved with taking action for the oceans, the climate, and more.
World Ocean Day activities — how to watch the official event and speeches:
The UN is hosting a hybrid World Oceans Day event at the UN Headquarters in New York, which will be broadcast live online for anyone who’d like to participate. The broadcast begins at 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 8, will feature speeches and talks from a variety of experts, celebrities, and entrepreneurs, and will conclude with a 1 p.m. performance from Julian Lage and Margaret Glaspy. You can RSVP to the livestream here.
Additionally, there are a number of resources on the UN World Oceans Day website, which you can use to learn more about oceans with your children — there, you’ll find ocean-themed coloring pages, videos, podcasts, and more.
This article has been updated to include the musical performers who have replaced Bedouine at the World Oceans Day livestream.