What’s your connection to our salty sea? We swim and surf its waves, live alongside its shores, gather fish, harness energy and harvest medicines from the ocean. Stretching back in time, the seas have created a habitable planet, sustained an amazing diversity of life, inspired us with their vast resources and fed us. It’s time to celebrate our briny deep and consider how we impact it and steps we can take to preserve it.
World Oceans Day is fairly new. It was celebrated for the first time on June 8th, 2009 as designated by the United Nations General Assembly. It’s gaining traction as a world-wide celebration, and it’s kind of exciting -- like being in on the first Earth Day celebrations. World Oceans Day has the potential to draw worldwide attention to the oceans importance to our planet and how we can better care for it.
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"World Oceans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of oceans to humankind’s sustainable development. It is also a time to recognize the many severe challenges related to oceans." -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on World Oceans Day, June 8, 2011
It’s time we take a new look at what was once considered an unknowable place. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) has produced a visually-powerful new graphic that shows how much water is on Earth -- which seems relatively small compared to the size of the planet. The large sphere of water represents Earth's total water volume, and according to USGS, "includes all the water in the oceans, ice caps, lakes, and rivers, as well as groundwater, atmospheric water, and even the water in you, your dog, and your tomato plant."