June 8 is World Oceans Day 2015. Why celebrate oceans? 71%: of the Earth’s surface is covered by the global ocean, which is divided, historically into named regions: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic (a sea is mostly surrounded by land). Most countries now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency) oceans contain 97 % of Earth’s water. The global ocean has a significant effect on our biosphere. Ocean water evaporation is the source of most rainfall and ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns. The oceans feed millions, produce oxygen and are home to countless wildlife species.
Once thought to be invulnerable to human activity because of its size, human pressures including overexploitation, unregulated fishing, marine pollution, introduction of alien species, acidification and climate change are affecting this enormous resource.
The United Nations World Oceans Day 2015 theme is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. Celebrate by taking The Better Bag Challenge. Commit to using reusable bags instead of disposable for a whole year. Refuse to accept plastic which hurt sea turtles and ocean life everywhere. Visit www.world oceans day.org/action-center/
Photo: Bonnie Ogle