In acknowledgment of World Oceans Day (June 8, 2018) Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (New Orleans) celebrated with their annual Ocean Fest event on Saturday, June 9th. World Ocean Day is an opportunity to recognize how healthy oceans impact our food, the air we breathe, our climate, and many other aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, our oceans face many challenges.
Families, couples, and individuals from across the state and around the world learned about ocean creatures, current ocean problems such as microplastics, and even a bit about Louisiana Wetlands. They had the chance to talk with people from the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and LSU Sea Grant, learning both how the oceans support them and how they can better support the oceans.
CWPPRA Outreach staff were set up in the Mississippi River area and had a hands-on learning activity- the Mysterious Wetland Wonders. People of all ages had to guess which Louisiana wetland organism was inside the box only by feeling with their hands and reading clues — Of course none of the items were alive! — but each represented an influential component of Louisiana wetlands, from invasive nutria which destroy marsh to bald cypress trees which are important economically and for wildlife habitat.
CWPPRA Outreach staff also had materials like the Protect Our Coast posters, stickers, and activity books available for the public, as well as literature about CWPPRA and recent issues of Watermarks. Citizens who had never heard of CWPRPA learned our mission in constructing projects that protect and restore wetlands and barrier islands in coastal Louisiana. CWPPRA projects may focus on land, but the connections between the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi and other rivers in Louisiana, coastal wetlands, and the communities that depend on those areas mean that each is an important part of what happens to the others.
Oceans are often seen as the blood of our planet. Oceans flow over nearly three-quarters of the planet, providing 97% of the Earth’s water. Not only are oceans a home to an array of marine wildlife, they create a livable environment for land-bearing organisms like humans. Even though most people do not venture far beyond the coast, the open ocean produces a massive scope of goods and services that are a fundamental part of our health, economies, and even our weather.
Marine fisheries, shipping routes, oxygen, carbon dioxide sinks, temperature, weather control, and the water cycle are all provided by the ocean and are essential to a functioning world. Ocean-based businesses contribute more than $500 billion to the world’s economy and approximately half of the world’s population resides in the coastal zone. Oceans supply food, transportation, jobs, and products that aid in keeping people warm, safe, informed, and entertained. Around 90% of all trade between countries is carried by ship. If the ocean cannot produce it, it can at least transport the goods.
Tomorrow, June 8th, people from around the world will join together in celebration to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans. The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is “Our Oceans, Our Future.” What a suiting theme! Regardless of our distance from the ocean, our lives are still highly affected by the health of Earth’s oceans. Oceans generate most of the oxygen that we breathe, provide food for us, regulate our climate, and clean the water that we drink. Without maintaining healthy oceans, our future will be affected dramatically.
Celebrate World Oceans Day by adopting the practice of appreciating our oceans through plastic pollution prevention and cleaning the ocean of marine litter. Take care of the oceans that give so much to us in return!
Why are oceans important?
Oceans are the blood of the planet- critical to the survival of life on Earth. Not only are oceans a home to a vast assortment of wildlife, they create a livable environment for land-bearing organisms like humans.
Oceans cover three quarters of the planet, produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and in return absorb the most carbon. Ocean-based businesses contribute more than $500 billion to the world’s economy and approximately half of the world’s population resides in the coastal zone. Oceans supply food, transportation, jobs, products that aid in keeping you warm, safe, informed, and entertained.
Regardless of the distance between you and an ocean, your life is still highly affected by the health of Earth’s oceans. Celebrate World Ocean Day by adopting the practice of appreciating our oceans, keeping our oceans clean, and caring for the oceans that give so much to us in return.