“Urgent action on a global scale is needed to alleviate the world’s oceans from the many pressures they face, and to protect them from future dangers that may tip them beyond the limits of their carrying capacity. ”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
2016 Theme: Healthy oceans, healthy planet
Plastic bottles and garbage from a nearby village wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea in Dili, Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Martine Perret
The ocean is the heart of our planet. Like your heart pumping blood to every part of your body, the ocean connects people across the Earth, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates the climate, feeds millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to an incredible array of wildlife, provides us with important medicines, and so much more! In order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations, it’s imperative that we take the responsibility to care for the ocean as it cares for us.
This year, the theme is Healthy oceans, healthy planet, and we’re making a special effort to stop plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is a serious threat because it degrades very slowly, polluting waterways for a very long time. In addition, plastic pollution impacts the health of aquatic animals because animals including zooplankton mistake the microbeads for food. Scientists also fear health impacts for humans.
The United Nations will celebrate World Oceans Day 2016 and recognize the winners of the Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition at an event on 8 June 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters.
Why do we celebrate World Oceans Day?
- To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
- To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
- To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
- To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
- To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.