A Guide to this Year’s Ocean Celebrations

Happy World Ocean Day, Ocean Week Canada, Ocean Festival, and Ocean Decade!  

Annually on and around June 8, millions of people from 150+ countries participate in countless ways to take action on behalf of our shared ocean, such as organizing school events, aquatic cleanups, and community engagement through science and art.  

What’s happening globally

This coming decade, from 2021 to 2030 has been named the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by the United Nations—the science we need for the ocean we want! In the next ten years, there will be ten challenges for one ocean. These will include creating a digital representation of the ocean and skills, knowledge, and technology for all. The ocean holds the keys to an equitable and sustainable planet. Join the revolution to unlock innovative ocean science solutions. Join a shared, global effort that builds on decades of achievements in ocean science. 

This year’s United Nations World Oceans Day theme is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. The celebration will be hosted in-person at UN headquarters in New York and broadcast live online. Learn how communities, ideas, and solutions are working together to protect and revitalize the ocean and everything it sustains. Hear from thought-leaders, celebrities, institutional partners, community voices, entrepreneurs, and cross-industry experts as they delve into key topics and work to both inspire and ignite collaborative change. Register today!

What’s happening nationally

Ocean Week Canada was first piloted in June 2021 with 22 virtual national events attended by over 20,000 Canadians and viewed by over 100,000 post-events. Ocean Week Canada is an annual national celebration of ocean events, learning, and engagement held during the week of World Ocean Day (June 3 – 12). Through events and learning activities, the important role the ocean plays in our everyday lives and how local waterways connect us all with the ocean is being recognized. This cluster of events aim to raise public awareness and celebrate the connection to coastal areas, the ocean, and watersheds in Canada. 

Ocean Week Canada has gathered incredible toolkits suited for those in postsecondary education and their early career. No matter where you live or how far from the ocean’s shoreline you may be, we all have a connection to and impact on the ocean. These toolkits will enable postsecondary students and early career professionals to learn about opportunities and potential career pathways in the ocean sector. Dive into personal narratives and insights from ocean innovators and entrepreneurs working in diverse fields as well as timely information about emerging trends, career programs, and resources. These toolkits were curated by ECOP Canada and Ocean Networks Canada

Ocean Week Canada is nationally coordinated by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition (COLC). COLC is an alliance of organizations, networks, institutions, and communities working together to better understand and advance ocean literacy in Canada. COLC grew out of a 40-person informal consultation and a national workshop hosted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada in the winter of 2018. These events led to the creation of the report, A Development Plan: Building a National Ocean Literacy Strategy, in June 2018. COLC formally launched on September 20, 2018, right here in Halifax at the Oceans Inspiration Expo which was held as part of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans, and Clean Energy

Unique to 2022, Ocean Week Canada is kicking off a summer-long Ocean Festival that will lay a foundation of ocean awareness as Canada gears up to host the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) in Vancouver in February. IMPAC5 is a global forum that brings together ocean conservation professionals and high-level officials to inform, inspire, and act on marine protected areas. Equally important, IMPAC5 is an opportunity to bring together Indigenous peoples and cultures from around the world to embrace a collaborative approach and to learn from Indigenous leadership in ocean conservation. 

Ocean Festival officially kicks off on June 8, World Ocean Day, as part of Ocean Week Canada 2022. Over the three months of the festival, Canadians will learn about the importance of the ocean and the sustainable use of it. The festival will strengthen Canadians’ connections to their local watersheds and Canada’s coastline—the longest in the world—and inspire community-based action to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations. The festival will celebrate Indigenous-led, community, government, and private sector conservation success stories and help to build momentum toward reaching Canada’s conservation targets of protecting 30% of marine and coastal waters by 2030. 

There are plenty of ways to celebrate our ocean in the next few months! We hope you take the time and attend a local event and get to know our ocean! Check our socials for events happening online and in Halifax.  

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