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What Is the State of the Ocean on World Oceans Day, June 8?

The annual World Oceans Day arrives tomorrow, June 8. Rather than give it the usual quick recognition, we asked writer Tim Henry to give us a more in-depth look at the state of the oceans in our June issue. Although Tim’s story still only scratches the surface of a topic that includes ocean plastics, coral bleaching, overfishing and much more, as with all big projects, you have to start somewhere.

Cargo sailer Kwai
Ocean Voyages Institute’s 188-ft cargo sailer Kwai hauls another load of plastics from the ocean.
© 2021 Ocean Voyages Institute

Fortunately, the Bay Area is home to many pioneering efforts to clean the oceans, and they’re joined by thousands of other ocean-health campaigners around the world. Cal 40 sailor, cruiser, and surfer Liz Clark has been a tireless ocean-health advocate. Her website offers 10 tips to contribute to a better world. Ocean ambassador Sylvia Earle has been creating ‘Hope Spots’ around the world with Mission Blue. The Story of Stuff in Berkeley works hard to prevent the problems at their source. There is no doubt that to love the ocean, it helps to be in or on it as a sailor, surfer or diver — and sailors might be all three.

Ocean Clean Up Project
Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Project in Alameda is working to increase plastic removal from the oceans.
© 2021 The Ocean Clean Up Project

Elsewhere around the country, other organizations are also doing their part to help the state of our oceans. Sailors for the Sea promotes Clean Regattas, encouraging sailors and sailing event organizers to run environmentally sustainable events. US Sailing promotes environmental stewardship through its STEM program and the CleanGreen organizers. And there are many more organizations that we haven’t yet mentioned.

The good news is that the need for preserving the oceans is now well recognized, and people everywhere are finding more ways to help. That could be as simple as sailing more and motoring less, retrieving any plastic you see from the ocean, or contributing to the many organizations that continue the hard work of restoring the ocean to good health. We’ll be bringing you more stories on ocean sustainability throughout the month of June and would love to hear from you about what you are doing and what you think needs to be done. The next generations will be grateful to all generations who contribute to making a difference for ocean and planetary health now.

Leave your ideas in the comments below, or write to us here.

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