Our one world ocean that connects us all: Remember to drop the S
One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together
15 April 2022 | By Bill Mott
Last year, we officially dropped the “s” from World Ocean(s) Day to strongly emphasize our connectedness on this blue planet that we share and strive to protect and restore.
With this small yet significant change World Ocean Day returned to its roots 20 years ago, when we partnered with others around the world to start coordinating World Ocean Day. At that time, there was no global coordination, no central website, no customizable resources to help organizations and individuals get involved, and no one promoting World Ocean Day across all sectors as an opportunity to collaborate for collective impact.
To help grow World Ocean Day, and working closely with key partners, from 2003-2008 the growing global network petitioned the United Nations to officially recognize 8 June as World Ocean Day. Tens of thousands of people from dozens of countries signed an online petition and many thousands more signed petitions at hundreds of World Ocean Day events, urging the U.N. to recognize this special day in June each year.
In December 2008, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution recognizing the day, but they added an ‘s’ resulting in “World Oceans Day.” So, in solidarity with the U.N., we added the ‘s’ and used “World Oceans Day” for many years. Until last year.
Together, over these past 20 years, we have been raising the profile of the ocean and its importance to everyone, no matter where we live, to survive and thrive AND to take action, collectively, to ensure a better future with a healthy blue planet. As a result of the collective involvement of thousands of organizations and millions of people, June has essentially become ocean month and the people and organizations involved in the World Ocean Day network continue engagement and action throughout all 365 days of the year in 150+ countries.
What difference does an ‘S’ make?
By dropping the “s” we re-aligned with the global ocean literacy movement, including scientists, educators, and youth worldwide. It’s always been about one big ocean (and one climate) that connects us all.
Ocean literacy principle #1 is “the Earth has one big ocean with many features.” Though humans have named five oceans—Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern and Arctic—there is really just one world ocean.
For some great resources on ocean literacy, please see NMEA’s overview page with translations available of the essential principles and concepts; UNESCO/IOC’s page and their Ocean Literacy for All: A Toolkit. Also, be sure to check out the World Ocean Day resource page for customizable resources in multiple languages for you to use as you wish!
As always, everything on this website is free for you to help advance action for our blue planet and create a more sustainable society. Thank you for your involvement in creating a better future!