Over the past two weeks, hundreds of events were held, thousands of individuals celebrated, and millions of people were engaged online for World Oceans Day. Aquariums and zoos, and other visitor-serving organizations once again played an integral role in the festivities, inspiring and activating thousands of visitors. Thank you so much for being a part of this global celebration of our oceans.
This year’s theme was ‘Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet’, and people all over the world were focusing on the prevention of plastic pollution. Organizations committed to using less plastic and organized beach cleanups to clean their local beaches and waterways. Many establishments continued to implement the Better Bag Challenge and various iterations of it, at their celebrations. Aquariums like Shedd Aquarium, Texas State Aquarium, Virginia Aquarium and many more joined Jack Johnson and took the Wave for Change challenge by sharing videos of themselves doing the wave. You’re encouraged to keep the Wave for Change growing at your organization throughout the summer!
The online buzz about World Oceans Day this year was huge! #WorldOceansDay trended second on Twitter with over 146K tweets. Instagram posts about World Oceans Day reached over 290 million people, and over 65 million people were reached on Twitter. Numerous zoos and aquariums participated by tweeting inspiring messages and sharing incredible photos of marine life. Celebrities like Richard Branson, Ellie Goulding, Pharrell Williams, Adrian Grenier, Nelson Mandela and more shared photos and tweeted their support for our oceans. Notable organizations such as the United Nations, CNN, National Geographic, LIFE, the White House and more joined in spreading messages of ocean conservation.
World Oceans Day teamed up with Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and The Big Blue and You to create Sea Youth Rise Up, which brought seven youth ocean conservation leaders to NYC and Washington DC. The youth spoke about pressing ocean issues and solutions in a live google hangout at the New York Aquarium. Click here to watch their broadcast. The youth then headed to Washington DC to meet with ocean leaders at the White House, including discussing protecting more special coastal and ocean areas (see www.BlueBackyard.org for more information on some leading sites for protection).
World Oceans Day also introduced the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council. There are 11 members on the council all coming from different countries around the world. The new advisory council will help expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day, on June 8th, and year round. World Oceans Day will continue to engage youth throughout the year!
World Oceans Day wouldn’t have been so successful without your organization’s passion for ocean conservation. World Oceans Day happens once a year, but our ocean should be loved and respected throughout the year. Stay tuned for new campaigns and initiatives to celebrate our oceans all year long! Thank you for your support and participation!