World Oceans Day
What is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day is celebrated around the world each year on June 8th. The day is recognized by the United Nations as a day of ocean celebration and action.
Why does it matter?
Oceans cover nearly three-quarters of our planet and hold 97% of the planet’s water. Whether we realize it or not, the ocean is imperative to life on earth. The ocean regulates the climate, helps feed millions of people every year, produces oxygen, is the home to amazing marine wildlife, and so much more. It is vital that we keep oceans clean in order to ensure the health and safety of our communities and future generations.
How is Columbian Park Zoo involved?
Columbian Park Zoo has held an annual World Oceans Day celebration since 2014. The event is centered in the DeFouw Education Center (near the IU Health Family Farm), and includes a variety of family-friendly activities aimed at educating the community on how the ocean affects us, and how we can make a difference to help keep the planet healthy.
The 2019 global theme is "Preventing Plastic Pollution", with an emphasis on reducing single-use plastics. Plastics found in the ocean and other water habitats can cause severe health issues for the animals that call those places home. One of the main contributors of plastic pollution is the mass use of single-use plastic items such as shopping bags, straws and water bottles. Columbian Park Zoo encourages all of our visitors and community members to take the World Ocean Day challenge by choosing to avoid single-use plastics and using reusable substitutes instead!
I don’t live near any oceans, can I still help?
Of course! Even though you may not live in a coastal town, we rely on the oceans to help regulate our climate, help clean our water, providing yummy seafood, and providing a number of important products like medicines. Rivers like the Wabash eventually join larger rivers, which empty into the oceans. Our local rivers have an impact on the ocean! We can celebrate our oceans every day, and help animals in the process, by making small changes in our day to day lives. Here are some simple changes to that could make a BIG difference: Take reusable bags to the grocery store, say no to plastic straws when you go out to eat, and buy a reusable water bottle to have on hand and refill as needed.
The ocean has an impact on all of us, and by learning about some of the problems and taking an active role in water conservation, we can all help keep our oceans clean and healthy!