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World Oceans Day

posted Jun 7, 2016, 8:05 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience   [ updated Jun 7, 2016, 8:28 PM ]
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

World Oceans Day is a time to remember we are all connected to the oceans no matter where we live — inland or on the coast. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other organizations hold events from coast to coast to coast. Celebrate the life-giving role of oceans and take part in stewardship activities in your community.

World Oceans Day

The Government of Canada proposed the concept of World Ocean Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the day has been celebrated internationally ever since. As of 2009, June 8 has been officially declared by the United Nations as "World Oceans Day".

Regional events and activities

Maritimes Region

  1. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Oceans Day Event
    Location: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax waterfront.
    Date: Friday June 3, 2016 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
    Description: DFO employees from Ecosystem Management and Science will be at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to take part in the annual Oceans Day celebration. DFO’s exhibit will include fish samples from research efforts to see and touch, information related to marine protected areas, sharks, species at risk, and whales and the sounds they make. Other groups that participate in this event include, World Wildlife Fund, Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council, Dalhousie University, and more.
  2. Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE), 2nd annual Ocean Literacy conference
    Location: Dalhousie University, Halifax
    Date: June 7–12
Objectives of World Oceans Day

  • Change attitudes — encourage individuals to think about what the oceans mean to each of us, and what oceans have to offer.
  • Learn — discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful creatures and habitats found in the oceans, and how our actions affect them.
  • Change our ways — encourage each of us to become caretakers of our oceans, and to conserve them for our future.
  • Celebrate — organize or participate in ocean events, whether we live inland or on the coast.

Why our oceans are important

By exploring our links to the oceans, we learn how closely connected we are to the ocean, and how what we do in our backyard can impact them in positive and negative ways.

Water travels from our oceans to the atmosphere, to land, to rivers and back to our oceans again. Our water resources are limited. The water now present on Earth is all there is. Protection of our oceans starts with protection of our rivers, and protection of our rivers starts with each of us.

The oceans not only generate half of the oxygen we breathe, they act as thermostats to regulate the Earth’s temperature and support a majority of our planet’s biodiversity.

Canada is an ocean rich country.  We have the world’s longest coastline linking three different oceans –Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific – and an immense web of marine life. We are all connected to our oceans, which are important to our heritage, culture and economy, and essential to all life on the planet. Canada’s coastal ecosystems are very important as they support a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial species. Taking care of our oceans is a priority and there are many different organizations, communities and individuals that work together to protect and conserve our oceans.

For the Government of Canada, one of the most important initiatives has been the establishment of Marine Protected Areas. These are defined geographical spaces in the water that are dedicated and managed in an effort to conserve and protect unique areas, ecologically significant species and their habitats, and representative marine environments. They can also strengthen ecosystems so they function properly, providing goods and services such as clean air, water and food.

For more information on Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas, please visit our page Marine Protected Areas and proposed future sites.

10 ways to get involved

You and your community can make an impact on Oceans Day no matter where you live!

  1. Learn: Learn all you can. Read, surf the web and experience the ocean directly.
  2. Conserve: Conserve water. Be mindful when washing your car or watering your lawn.
  3. Reduce:  Cut down household pollutants and properly dispose of herbicides, pesticides, paints and cleaning products.
  4. Recycle: Reduce waste. Dispose of trash properly. Where possible, recycle, reuse and compost.
  5. Commute Consciously: Use fuel efficient vehicles, bicycles or carpool to reduce automobile pollution. Recycle motor oil and repair oil and air conditioning leaks.
  6. Don’t Dump: Protect ocean wildlife. Don’t dispose of fishing lines, nets or plastic items in or near the water.
  7. Care:  Be considerate of sea life habitats. Don’t bother sea birds, mammals and turtles or their nesting grounds. Support marine protected areas.
  8. Take Action: Get involved. Take part in a beach cleanup or other ocean-oriented activities.
  9. Host: Plan an Oceans Day event in your community.
  10. Share: Spread the word on the importance of ocean health, on community events and on World Oceans Day.
  • Follow us on Twitter for all the latest information and share photos of your World Oceans Day celebration using #WorldOceansDay and #CdnOceans.

  • Many other organizations sponsor World Oceans Day activities. For a sample, visit, or

  • You can also “like” World Oceans Day on Facebook.