Every year on June 8 is World Oceans Day, which celebrates everything our natural waterways have to offer. As you're probably aware, the ocean is absolutely vital to so many communities and walks of life in general, so there are countless ways to show your support by participating in conservation-centric events, donating, and beyond.
Keep reading for the scoop on World Oceans Day, and the many ways in which you can show your support. With climate change worsening, water pollution, and various destructive human activities, our oceans could use your support now more than ever.
What is the theme for World Oceans Day 2021?
Ever since World Oceans Day was declared an official holiday in 2008, the United Nations has hosted a World Oceans Day event (UNWOD) with a different theme each year. On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the event will be virtual and open to the public, with the theme being The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods. It will be produced in partnership with nonprofit Oceanic Global, and according to the UN, it will focus on the role of the ocean within various communities and ecosystems.
You can expect to see panels and presentations from a variety of leaders in the environmental space, including: Sylvia Earle, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Céline Semaan, as well as performances from various musical talents such as Angelique Kidjo, Bomba Estereo, Valerie June, and more. If you're interested in tuning in this year, make sure to register for free ahead of time on the UN World Oceans Day website.
These are the best charities to donate to on World Oceans Day:
If you have the funds, donating is a great way to support ocean conservation. Ocean Conservancy is a highly regarded advocacy group that you may recognize for its annual International Coastal Cleanup Program. It works to protect endangered marine habitats, promotes sustainable fishing, and looks to reduce human impact on marine life. Similarly, Oceana is committed to saving and restoring oceans through policy change, with targeted campaigns against industrial fishing, oil, and aquaculture.
Sea Shephard Conservation Society targets habitat destruction by investigating and documenting organizations, before exposing illegal marine activities to preserve ecosystems. Coral Reef Alliance specifically targets the world's most threatened ecosystem, coral reefs, by implementing in-depth programs that protect reefs worldwide. Project Zero is another one we love that targets conservation and awareness, which has garnered support from celebs like model and DJ Alexandra Richards.
Here are some other ways to help on World Oceans Day:
One easy way to contribute to ocean conservation is to join or host a beach cleanup. Ocean plastic, which comes from landfills and beach litter, does irreparable harm to marine and plant life. After a while, ocean plastic breaks down into microplastics, which can ultimately make their way back into the human body from fish and water consumption. That's why making sure the beach is clean is seriously crucial.
And although we always recommend shopping secondhand before buying anything new, there are many brands that support ocean conservation efforts. Humu Surf Co., for example, offers cute and sustainable beach attire, and they donate a percent of the profits to the Surfrider Foundation and the Oceanic Preservation Society. Opolis is another one, that diverts ocean plastic by using recycled materials for its Bio-Collection Plant-Based Sunglasses. The company also contributes to 1 Percent For The Planet for each frame sold.
The founders of sustainable watch company, VAER, are also worth checking out — in addition to creating extremely durable watches, the company donates to The Surfrider Foundation, which aims to protect the world’s ocean and beaches through activism. And, the duo behind the brand, Reagan Cook and Ryan Torres, also created a 6-minute documentary called The Urchin Diver, which highlights the problems California coastal marine ecosystems face, which is available to stream on YouTube just in time for World Ocean's Day.
Likewise, Indigo Wild Clothing creates biodegradable beachwear that decomposes in less than five years, which is better than most, which can take up to 200 years. And just in time for World Oceans Day, athletic apparel company, Saucony, is releasing its Stopwatch line, which is made from recyclable polyester made from single use bottles — the Women’s Stopwatch Short Sleeve, Women’s Stopwatch Singlet, and Women’s Stopwatch Long Sleeve are just a few of our favorite pieces.