World Ocean Day Success Stories!

Every year, the success stories from World Ocean Day event organizers remind us of the work being done worldwide to celebrate and protect the ocean.

For World Ocean Day 2023, thousands of events took place around the world – including cleanups, festivals, webinars, and so much more!

One individual’s actions may not seem particularly impactful by themselves, but when combined with the efforts of thousands of like-minded individuals, the result is something truly inspiring.

Here are just some of the wonderful events and celebrations that took place worldwide!


Campaigns and initiatives:

In Abidjan, the campaign “Agir ensemble pour la planete”, or “Acting together for our planet” drew more than a hundred participants from organizations such as the Bureau Veritas Côte d’Ivoire, IRD, Arche de la Paix International, and other NGOs. Using the 5Rs concept (Restore, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink), the participants cleaned up the Vridi Canal beach, shared a number of environmental education and awareness-raising messages, and proposed solutions to the plastic pollution of beaches and lagoons.

BREEF in conjunction with Waterkeepers Bahamas recently sent a proclamation to the Prime Minister of the Bahamas that successfully recognizes World Ocean Day in The Bahamas as 8 June and Ocean Protection Week as 8-14 June. In celebration, BREEF hosted a public Snorkel & Beach Cleanup on Saturday, 10 June on Saunders Beach in Nassau, New Providence. Volunteers from school groups, a local university, and local charitable organizations were involved. Children had the opportunity to experience the underwater world and learn how to snorkel and identify local fish and corals. 

In Portugal, WIN-BIG project (co-funded by the EU), supported by 14 partners from 9 countries, is committed to addressing the gender imbalance and capacity gaps across various sectors of the blue economy. Recognizing the vital role of ocean health and the preservation of marine ecosystems, they organized a week-long Social Media campaign in celebration of World Ocean Day. This campaign created 3 informative videos that shed light on important challenges facing the ocean, covering topics such as climate change, endangered species, and the connection between their project and the ocean. The videos can be found on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. 


In commemoration of World Ocean Day, the Grand River South East Youth Circle, a youth-led NGO based in Mauritius, organized a coastal clean-up campaign in different parts of Grand River South East, a coastal village in southeastern Mauritius.  Making use of biodegradable equipment, children picked up plastic bottles and bags, wrappers and other waste. Along with cleaning up their community, the project aimed to raise awareness about the damage being done to the ocean by plastic pollution and to empower young people to take responsibility for the ocean.

In the United States, close to 80 volunteers joined a collaborative event hosted by the New Bedford Free Public Library, Mass Audubon, Be the Solution to Pollution, and Pokémon GO SouthCoast to clean up the beach at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. More than 307 pounds of trash were removed from the beach. After two hours of cleaning, folks enjoyed arts and crafts, a pizza party, and a free giveaway. Everyone received a free Global Goals reusable bag with an Ocean Day button and learned how to be a Massachusetts Audubon Nature Hero and care about Saltmarsh Sparrows. 

In Fiji, a partnership with an NGO called “Justice Pacific” and an organization called “Fiji I Love You” resulted in an effort to clean up the Wailoaloa beach. Tourists have named the beach as one of the dirtiest in Fiji. Approximately 20 people at the Sailors Beach Resort hotel decided to join and provided refreshments. 

Art,  entertainment, and recreation

In Cyprus, a screening of the movie Mediterranean: Life Under Siege took place while a team of volunteers helped collect data for the Sea Turtle Research and Conservation project, organized by the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute in Karpaz, Cyprus. The movie was a huge success, as it helped to viewers understand not only the biology of some essential creatures within the Mediterranean, but also how humans impact aquatic environments. People from 15 different nations attended the screening.

Children from the Sólborg kindergarten school in Ísafjörður, Westfjordlands, Iceland, the Papay community choir on the island of Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands, and the Stream of Sound choir in Stourbridge, England, stood together on their island shores and sang out to the ocean: “Our voices will sing out our hopes for the ocean, travelling over and under the waves. We care for our deep blue ocean. We know it is our  future.” This creative activity is part of a series called #Embrace the Sea projects exploring future collaborations with the sea. 

All around Seychelles, an all-female crew came together to organize a sailing event called “Around Seychelles in 18 Bays”.  The event was officially launched on International Women’s Day in March, and an objective of the event was to put the spotlight on women working in maritime. There were 70 women participants, including high profile figures such as the first and second lady, ministers’ wives, President of WIOMSA, artists, fishers, divers, soldiers and conservationists. As the crew sailed around Seychelles, they were interviewed by the press on board so that their efforts could be publicized to help raise awareness about how people interact with the ocean. 


Webinars, conferences and exhibits

With over 200 attendees, MarAlliance’s Metaverse Exhibit for World Ocean Day provided an immersive and engaging experience for participants, allowing them to explore the wonders of the ocean from the comfort of their homes. Social media posts promoting the event reached over 4,000 individuals across various platforms.

In Jeju Island, South Korea two local NGOs, ‘Save Jeju Bada’ and ‘Global Inner Peace’ co-organized an educational session lectured by Ms. Juyoung Han, the founder of ‘Save Jeju Bada’th to which 50 youth attended. The participants designed placards containing written campaigns such as ‘Save Jeju Sea’ , ‘No single-use plastics’, and ’30X30.’ 

In Ecuador, a science outreach event entitled “Ocean Science for Sustainable Development” was held at the University Peninsula Santa Elena UPSE. There were 6 ecological cohorts that presented topics on biodiversity, marine pollution and ocean conservation. Approximately 80 people attended, and all attendees were invited to participate in the the 30×30 initiative by sharing why they think protecting 30% of our lands, waters, and ocean is important to them.

Ten Knots Group, a resorts subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc. celebrated World Ocean Day in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. In partnership with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and the Miss Earth Organization, hosted a series of events for tourism, education, and the environment with the theme Taking Actions Through Conscious Choices. Among the events was a coastal clean-up collected a total of 141.9 kilograms of trash and an online and onsite forum also took place with speakers such as the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Executive Director, Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim. 



In Hawai’i, thousands attended Maui Ocean Center‘s World Ocean Day festival featured a variety of conservation groups along with live music, ocean-themed crafts, face painting and marine naturalist presentations. The celebration coincided with the 1,000th sea turtle rescue by the nonprofit MOC Marine Institute.

In Maidens, Scotland, a three day festival hosted speakers talking about Maidens in the past, the Arran Coastal protected area, the Dolphin House outdoor educational facility, and world renowned under water cameraman Doug Allan. On the final day, they hosted 160 primary school children and ran interactive activities based around World Ocean Day.


In collaboration with 21 organizations that integrate the Coastal Marine Alliance, a festival was held in Guatemala to disseminate information to children and young people through interactive games and informative materials. In addition, a documentary was shown about reefs and the vulnerability of coral ecosystems, seeking to raise awareness through scientific research. 
Everyone’s actions in June and throughout the year are a reminder of what World Ocean Day is all about – uniting and rallying the world to protect and restore our blue planet!
It’s never too early to start planning your next conservation-related event, activity, or campaign. To stay informed about resources, ways to take action, and how to plan next year’s World Ocean Day events, follow World Ocean Day on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and subscribe to the monthly newsletter!