People around the world have unofficially celebrated World Oceans Day since June 8, 1992, when it was proposed by Canada at that year's Earth Summit in Brazil.
But it wasn't until a year ago today that the United Nations officially declared June 8 as World Ocean Day—a chance to celebrate the ocean, its wildlife and the things it provides us (food, business and international trade, to name a few).
Today marks the second official World Oceans Day, and given the recent oil spill that continues to affect the ocean, its wildlife and the people in the Gulf, discussions about protecting the ocean and what people can do to help are more important than ever.
Tonight, the Museum of Natural History is kicking off a free lecture series called Changing Tides, which will feature ocean scientists and their current research in ocean science and conservation. Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and a professor of oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, will give his talk "Brave New Ocean," tonight at 6 p.m. in Natural History's Baird Auditorium. If you can't make it, it will also be webcast live.
Here are some other ways to get you started Around The Mall:
- Explore the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's Ocean Portal, a new interactive website that lets visitors anywhere explore the ocean. Today, it has several features to celebrate World Oceans Day, including a discussion about the recent oil spill , and ways to find your own connection with the ocean (including "5 simple ways" to help).
- Read our interview with Jane Lubchenco, a marine ecologist and administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, as she talks about "restoring the oceans' bounty."
- Visit the Sant Ocean Hall at the Museum of Natural History
No matter where you are, there's bound to be an event for you—check out these listings of World Oceans Day events around the world.