5 Ways to Love the Ocean on World Oceans Day

Every year on June 8, people across the globe come together to honor our oceans and all that they do to keep us alive. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the seas, here are 5 ways to love the ocean on World Oceans Day, even if you don’t happen to be near a coastline.

1. Watch: Webinars About the Ocean

Find knowledge and inspiration about our oceans from a few amazing panels of experts in a few of our favorite Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) webinars. PPC’s Global Webinar Series brings together our community of experts to share the latest information, tips, and resources to stop the growing plastic pollution crisis.

In our June 2023 webinar, Plastic-Free Seas: Diving Into How Plastic Impacts Health, Climate, and Our Oceans, we discussed the challenges that plastic pollution poses to our oceans and our bodies, how polluted waters disrupt the mental health benefits we gain from access to healthy oceans and waterways, and how we may restore our planet as well as our own physical and mental well-being.

During Deep Ocean to Outer Space: Plastic Pollution Solutions, in December 2020, we discussed the impacts of and potential solutions to plastic pollution in the ocean, as well as in outer space.

2. Read: Blogs About the Ocean

Surfers are some of the biggest advocates for our oceans, and were among the first people to call attention to the global plastic pollution crisis. Learn more about a dedicated subculture of wave riders who have turned to activism to protect the beaches and waters they love from plastic pollution in our blog Celebrating the Surfers Turning the Tide on Plastic Pollution.

For people in the Northern Hemisphere, June means summertime: the perfect time of year to enjoy the beach or recreate in the oceans. It’s also the perfect time to rethink your beauty routine and make better choices to benefit our oceans, environment, and your health. Check out 10 Tips for a Summer Beauty Routine that is Healthier for Our Oceans.

3. Read or Listen: Books About the Ocean

Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans by Captain Charles Moore with Cassandra Phillips 

Read the story of Captain Charles Moore’s encounter with the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” (The North Pacific Gyre) in 1997, and his return in 1999 to collect samples of microplastics for analysis on his custom built research vessel, ORV Alguita. The results of his first study in 1999 were shocking: plastic pollution caught in his research nets outweighed zooplankton, tiny animals that make up the base of the ocean’s food web, by a factor of six to one. As one of the main drivers of plastic pollution awareness, Captain Moore and Plastic Ocean remind us that an ocean free of plastic pollution is of utmost importance to the survival of all species. Learn more.

Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution by Marcus Eriksen

In 2008, two sailors drifted across the North Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii on a raft made from 15,000 plastic bottles tied in old fishing nets stuffed under a Cessna 310 Aircraft.  They called the vessel “JUNK.” The purpose of their 88-day, 2600-mile voyage was to build awareness and help build a movement to save our seas from plastic pollution. Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of 5 Gyres, who was one of those two sailors, tells the story. He shows us that there’s a great divide between how industry sees the future and what the movement demands.  This book is not only a story of adventure, but a vision of how we bridge that divide. Learn more.

Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis By Erica Cirino

Much of what you’ve heard about plastic pollution may be wrong. Instead of a great island of trash, the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of manmade debris spread over hundreds of miles of sea—more like a soup than a floating garbage dump. Recycling is more complicated than we were taught: less than nine percent of the plastic we create is recycled, and the majority ends up in the ocean. Erica Cirino, now Communications Manager at PPC, brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. Learn more.

4. View: Ocean Art

Meredith Andrews, contemporary portrait, travel and lifestyle photographer based on the sub-tropical island of Bermuda finds much of her inspiration combing the region’s beaches for plastic pollution, which she artfully arranges and photographs. Learn more.

Jo Atherton is an artist who works with objects, including plastic pollution, gathered on the UK coastline. Her practice highlights the diversity of plastic washed ashore and how the ubiquity of this material characterizes our current geological age of human influence—the Anthropocene. Learn more.

Pamela Longobardi, an American artist and activist fascinated by the metamorphoses of the ocean in the age of plastic. Through her works, she launches warning messages to the viewer, thrown like (plastic) bottles into the sea. Learn more.

Susan Middleton is an artist, photographer, author, and educator specializing in the portraiture of rare and endangered animals, plants, sites, and cultures. Much of her inspiration comes from the oceans. Learn more.

Alexis Rockman is an artist known for his paintings that depict future seascapes and landscapes as they might exist with impacts of climate change, pollution, and other human-made problems. In particular, his Oceanus and Shipwrecks series illustrate the beauty of the oceans—and what could happen if we do not protect them. Learn more.

Judith Selby and Richard Lang are artists who have spent more than 25 years visiting 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. By carefully collecting and “curating” the bits of plastic, Selby and Lang fashion it into works of art— art that matter-of-factly shows, with minimal artifice, the material as it is. Learn more.

5. Experience: The Blue Mind Challenge

The 11th Annual 100 Days of Blue Mind Challenge takes place May 26–Sept 2, 2024. Nominated for The Earthshot Prize in 2023, Blue Mind refers to a water-induced state of calm, unity, and inspired will to protect and restore nature. Researched and described by PPC Scientific Advisor Dr. Wallace J Nichols, this positive, holistic, values-based solution simultaneously addresses human well-being in a time of despair, and environmental protection in a time of destruction. The 100 Days of Blue Mind Challenge is simple: get near, in, on or under water daily. If you miss a day, don’t worry! Invite someone who needs it to join you from time to time. Share your stories in any way you like. If you’re on social media, use the #bluemind hashtag so fellow water-lovers can easily follow along. Here’s a list of 100+ ways to practice Blue Mind.

Take Action

We are all connected to the ocean, whether we live nearby or far away. It’s no secret that one of the biggest threats to our oceans is plastic pollution—which of course is not just an ocean issue, but a whole Earth issue. 

Please consider supporting our work to educate, connect, and advocate for a more just, regenerative world free of plastic pollution.

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