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Celebrate World Ocean Day by Keeping it Clean

A sunset over the ocean viewed from Kure Atoll.
A sunset viewed from Kure Atoll, located near Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. An atoll is an island of coral that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. (NOAA)

JUNE 7, 2013 -- June 8 is World Ocean Day, a time to celebrate the ocean which covers most of our planet. The ocean—it's blue, deep, and full of strange-looking forms of life. But beyond its natural beauty and mystery, the ocean is useful to have around for many practical reasons, such as: past ocean life produced enough oxygen to make this planet a nice place to live; it affects the atmosphere, and therefore, the weather and climate; it is full of food humans like to eat; it is fun to play in; and it has lots of materials and mineral resources we use for energy, manufacturing, and transportation. What is the best way to give your thanks for the many benefits the ocean offers us? By protecting it and keeping it clean, of course. Here are a few suggestions for a keeping a healthy and pollution-free ocean:

  • Avoid plastic in your face scrub—those tiny micro-scrubbing beads are likely made of plastic and may end up in the ocean.
  • Learn about your relationship with oil—and the many forms it takes in your everyday life.
  • Get cigarette butts off the beach—all 52.9 million of them.
  • Volunteer for the International Coastal Cleanup in September, find a local World Ocean Day event, or join or organize a beach cleanup at a lake, river, or shoreline near you.
  • Make for happy salmon and other fish that live in both the ocean and rivers by supporting community-based habitat restoration where you live.

What are other ways you could protect and celebrate the ocean? Follow the countdown to World Ocean Day with NOAA's Ocean Service.

Last updated Thursday, February 21, 2019 4:17pm PST