“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.” John F. Kennedy
The late John F. Kennedy’s interests went beyond politics. He and his family were passionate sailors. With the Atlantic Ocean at their doorstep in Cape Cod they took every opportunity to celebrate the sport as well as the ocean that made it possible.
Kennedy did not live to see the launch of World Oceans Day in 2008, when the United Nations created it. It will be celebrated this year on June 8. With 66 per cent of the world covered by water, it was high time such a crucial resource would be acknowledged. It had initially been proposed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Creating awareness about the dangers oceans face was central to World Oceans Day. Among the dangers are oil spills from tankers, pollution, the scourge of plastic bags and over fishing, to mention just a few.
The oceans support almost 200,000 species. They are also a year-round vacation playground for people in warmer clients and a summer one for Canadians. The tourism industry they make possible is crucial to many countries. This includes scuba diving. Oceans also support commerce by providing inexpensive ship transportation of products to market.
World Ocean’s Day officials offer some suggestions on how this event can be celebrated. One way is to make a personal connection by bringing your family on a visit to an ocean. Make it a learning experience by bringing along information on the ocean you are visiting. Also, consider starting a fund-raiser to preserve and restore your local beach.