Building the World

WATER: World Oceans Day


World Ocean Map by Quizimodo, 2007. Dedicated to the public domain by the artist and included with appreciation.

June 8 is World Oceans Day, launched in 2016 by its Youth Advisory Council, and supporting this year’s 2024 theme: “Catalyzing Action for Our Ocean & Climate” highlighting the message of one ocean, one climate, one future – together.” Here are three ways you can participate:

Protect the ocean and all who live within our blue commons. Image: “Florescent Coral” by Erin Rod, 2019. Creative Commons 4.0. Included with appreciation.

Protect the High Seas – did you know that not every country has ratified the High Seas Treaty? Areas beyond national jurisdiction belong to the whole world – including you. If your country has yet to act, contact leaders to urge signing now. Related to the High Seas Treaty is the initiative to protect 30% of ocean habitat by 2030. Check who’s on board here.

The deep seabed contains minerals: should we permit mining? Now is the time to become involved in this decision. The deep seabed belongs to all – including you. Image: “Deep Sea Mining Possible Zonex” by NOAA, 2011. Public Domain. Included with appreciation.

Defend the Deep – ironically, signatories of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are also those who may apply to the International Seabed Authority for contracts permitting deep seabed mining. This summer, decisions will be made regarding mining the seabed for minerals like cobalt. The argument for is that renewable energy requires battery storage powered by these minerals, now becoming depleted on land but abundant in the deep seabed. The argument against is that mining the deep seabed will surely be environmentally dangerous and very difficult to remediate. According to studies verified by Sir David Attenborough and hundreds of scientists, metals and minerals like cobalt are 100% recyclable. We do not need to mine the sea to power the future. Voice your opinion here.

Pathway of plastic to ocean. How can you support the Global Plastics Treaty? Image: Our World in Data, CC4.0. included with appreciation.

Support the Global Plastics Treaty – how many times have you spotted plastic litter on a beach, or seen a photo of the tragic consequences of plastic for marine life? In Nairobi, the UN Environment Assembly agreed to an international legally binding agreement to address the plastic production cycle from design to disposal. Support the world’s development of a global plastics treaty here.

Celebrate and support World Ocean Day. Image: “Person standing near ocean wave in Porto Covo, Portugal” by photographer Alvesgaspar, 2013. CC4.0. Included with appreciation.

Celebrate and share World Oceans Day. A social media toolkit to help you and your community share the message is available here.

Brooke, K. Lusk. “Speedo Diplomacy – Deep Seabed Mining and Marine Preservation.” Pages 56 – 67.” Renewing the World: Casebook for Leadership in Water. ISBN: 979-8-9850359-5-7.

Brooke, K. Lusk and Zoë G. Quinn. “Deep Seabed Mining.” 13 July 2023.

International Seabed Authority.

Leape, J., et al., (2020) Technology, data and new models for sustainably managing ocean resources.” World Resources Institute Blue Paper. managing ocean resources

NASA. “Video of Ocean in celebration of Earth Day 50th anniversary,” 2020.

Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions.

United Nations. “Oceans and Law of the Sea – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).” 1982.

United Nations. “Resolution to end plastic pollution.” 2 March 2022. UNEP/EA.5/.

World Wildlife Fund. “Future mineral demand can be met without deep seabed mining as innovative technology can cut mineral use by 58%.” 28 November 2022.

World Wildlife Fund. “Global Plastics Treaty.”

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 U


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