Zoos, Aquariums, Museums- Event Ideas Guide for World Ocean Day

On World Ocean Day, people around our blue planet celebrate and honor the ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, friends, colleagues, community, and — together with millions of others around our blue planet – we will create a better future.

This year’s action focus centers on the global campaign to protect 30% of our blue planet by the year 2030 (30×30). A healthy ocean is a critical part of the solution to the climate crisis.

No matter where you are located or what business you’re in, by supporting 30×30, we can protect our planet’s life support systems– specifically the interconnected issues of ocean, climate, and biodiversity.

Zoos, aquariums and museums are uniquely positioned year-round to engage the public, inform policymakers, and advance ocean conservation. World Ocean Day is a fantastic opportunity to reach the broader public and attract even more visitors by engaging them in conservation activities. For guidance on planning your event, activity, or celebration (virtual or in person) check out the 2021 Event Planning Toolkit. For quick inspiration, see the ideas below.

Sign the petition to support 30×30:

  • Sign as an organization here. If your zoo, aquarium or museum can sign, it sends a strong message to world leaders that you care about protecting our lands, waters, and ocean.
  • Share the link with your colleagues, employees and personal network to get individual signatures as well!

Engage visitors directly:

  • Set up an educational exhibit focused on marine protected areas and the 30×30 initiative and have visitors sign comment cards in support of the campaign
  • Organize an ocean arts and crafts activity for kids visiting your zoo, aquarium, or museum! Have them make crafts out of plastic recovered from beach and ocean cleanups and teach them about reducing our impact on the earth and the ocean
  • Add posters and signs around your facility or grounds with a QR code linking to the 30×30 petition to get visitors to sign in support while visiting your facility

Host an event online:

  • Go LIVE! Post a live-stream of one of your exhibits or have one of your scientists or educators go live on your social media and talk about the conservation work your organization is involved with to help create a better future
  • Organize a lecture or webinar about the importance of protecting the ocean in the fight against climate change
    • Feature scientists from your organization or the community and connect back to local species or places
  • Host a virtual tour of your facility for viewers at home! 

Organize a cleanup:

  • Set up a coastal or inland cleanup for volunteers in your community
    • Have staff from your organization lead the cleanup and educate volunteers on ocean conservation as they work!
  • See the Coastal and Inland Cleanup Guide

Host a fundraiser:

  • Use World Ocean Day as a fundraising opportunity, auction off membership passes, get a local restaurant to donate a sustainable seafood dinner, auction off ocean-friendly apparel and more!

Recognizing that every community has been facing the pandemic, we recommend following local health and safety guidelines when planning your event, activity, or celebration. Once you’ve finished planning don’t forget to join the hundreds of other organizations around the world and register it on the global event map! Share your celebration with the world and tag @WorldOceanDay so we can repost and amplify your message!