What do the oceans mean to you? Are they the epitome of tranquillity? A beautifying body on this planet we call home? Do coastal towns serve as destinations for joyous family holidays? Are they soothing to the soul, or are they a source of income? A vast, endless body of great unknown? Turbulent, tumultuous and terrifying?
Food, jobs, transport, oxygen production, absorption of excess carbon dioxide, storm protection, water filtration and its many recreational, cultural, and spiritual values are just some of the key services provided by the world’s oceans. These services are key to our daily lives, and the loss thereof would be life-altering.
World Oceans Day is celebrated annually on 8 June and the day provides a much-needed chance to reflect on the value of these life-sustaining bodies. This year, 2021, marks the first year in the United Nation’s (UN’s) declared Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and the theme for this year’s World Oceans Day was “Life and Livelihoods”.
In 2015, a report released by the WWF estimated that the ocean would rank seventh with an annual value of goods and services if compared to the world’s top 10 economies. it comes as no surprise that over 3 billion livelihoods are closely linked to these ecosystems. This means that it is vitally important that we all realise the significance of the health of the world’s oceans and do our very best to preserve them!
An important aspect of preserving the marine environment’s health starts on land! By removing waste from land, and preventing it from entering water systems, less waste will ultimately find its way to the oceans. To get involved in helping the environment, why not consider adopting a spot, or starting to recycle at home, to reduce the amount of waste on land. Those new to recycling can search for a local recyclable drop-off point here.
The SST team celebrated this World Ocean’s Day by cleaning the spot around their offices. SST also used this special day to raise awareness about the value of the oceans. Did you see SST around Walmer? Did you hear about Operation Clean Spot on Algoa FM? If not, take a look at some important statistics here, or catch the interview here!
With another World Oceans Day now behind us, and a few ideas of actions that can be implemented to protect our oceans, have you thought about how you’re going to celebrate and protect our oceans, not just for one day a year, but every day to come?