On June 8, the global celebration World Oceans Day [WOD] will recognize and honor the sea, not just for its connection that links all of humanity, but for what it provides and what it has come to represent. First proposed at the 1992 Earth Summit by the Canadian government, WOD has since become an international celebration in honor of the sea, and officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008, marking June 8 the day of our sea. Getting a head start, The Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network have organized WOD events worldwide since 2002, promoting a twofold agenda: Celebrate the world’s oceans for all that it gives, and raise awareness on the state of the oceans today while encouraging conservation efforts.
Water is arguably the most important resource this planet has to offer, and according to NOAA it generates more than half of the oxygen humans breathe, while oceanic currents and sea levels affect Earth’s climate and sustainability, making the education of conservation priceless to all human beings.
In 2013, more than 600 WOD events took place worldwide, while thousands made Ocean Promises, an initiative for individuals to take an active role to help with ocean health daily. This year, The Ocean Project is looking to break the high-water mark with 1,000 events; helping with the breach will be Naples’ own Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Since Rookery Bay is closed weekends, it will be celebrating WOD a day late, on June 9 with half-off admission ($5) paired with the popular Monday programs: a nature film presentation in the 140-seat auditorium (11 a.m.-12 noon), up-close interaction with sea creatures at the touch tank, (1-2 p.m.), and a naturalist-led presentation, “Manatee Marvels” (2-3 p.m.) – where visitors learn about these unique sea mammals, the threats stacked against them and ways to help these endangered Rookery Bay residents.
- For more information on Rookery Bay, visit rookerybay.org.