World Ocean Day is an annual global event celebrated on June 8 to raise awareness about the importance of the oceans and promote their sustainable management and conservation. The day serves as a reminder of the vital role that oceans play in our lives and the need to protect these fragile ecosystems.
The idea for World Oceans Day originated at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and it was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. Since then, it has been celebrated worldwide with various activities and events aimed at engaging individuals, communities, and organizations in ocean-related issues.
Significance of World Oceans Day in Costa Rica
With over 1,290 km of coastline on two of the world’s largest oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Costa Rica boasts a rich diversity of marine flora and fauna. It is home to more than 6700 marine species, and a great variety of marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, submarine mountain ranges, seagrasses, mudflats, tropical fjords, oceanic islands, etc.
Therefore, it becomes important for Costa Rica to conserve this richness. Costa Rica’s efforts to protect its oceans align with the objectives of World Ocean Day, creating a synergy between local initiatives and global awareness.
Costa Rica’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) exemplify its commitment to ocean preservation. These sanctuaries, like the renowned Cocos Island National Park, safeguard marine biodiversity and serve as models for sustainable management. The country’s regulations on sustainable fishing practices promote responsible fishing methods and support the protection of marine species and habitats.
This year, Golfito Marina and Marina Pez Vela, decided to educate the next generation about the importance of oceans in their lives, and the work opportunities one can get from the ocean. A 2-day event was held in Golfito from June 5-6 and from June 7-8 in Quepos. The first day involved visiting the local high schools for capacity building in employability skills. While the second day involved a visit to the marinas by the students to explore work opportunities and take classes.
7 Ways You Can Help Preserve The Oceans
As a responsible resident of Costa Rica, there are several actions you can take to contribute towards conserving the oceans:
1. Reduce Single-Use Plastics
Plastic pollution is a major threat to the oceans. Reduce your consumption of single-use plastics like plastic bags, bottles, and straws. Opt for reusable alternatives and encourage others to do the same.
2. Support Marine Conservation Organizations
Contribute your time, resources, or money to local marine conservation organizations. These groups work to protect marine habitats, conduct research, and raise awareness about ocean conservation.
Some of the organizations in Costa Rica working towards saving our oceans are –
- Marine Conservation Costa Rica
- Conservation International Costa Rica
- Osa Conservation
3. Practice Responsible Waste Management
Dispose of waste properly by recycling and separating recyclable materials from regular trash. Participate in community cleanups to remove litter from beaches and coastal areas.
4. Engage in Eco-Friendly Tourism
When visiting coastal areas, choose eco-friendly tourism operators that prioritize sustainable practices. Respect marine life, follow responsible snorkeling and diving guidelines, and avoid activities that may damage coral reefs or disturb wildlife.
5. Be Mindful of Chemicals
Avoid using harsh chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides that can end up in waterways and harm marine life. Use eco-friendly alternatives and follow proper disposal methods for hazardous substances.
6. Raise Awareness and Educate Others
Share your knowledge and passion for ocean conservation with friends, family, and your colleagues. Raise awareness about the importance of the oceans and encourage others to take action.
7. Stay Informed and Engaged
Keep up to date with current issues and policies related to marine conservation in Costa Rica. Stay informed about marine protected areas, conservation initiatives, and opportunities to get involved.
World Ocean Day serves as a global reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and conserve the oceans. And, Costa Rica’s exemplary efforts in marine conservation provide inspiration and guidance.
Each action, no matter how small, adds up to make a large and significant impact. Let us embrace the spirit of World Oceans Day, follow Costa Rica’s lead, and become responsible stewards of our oceans, ensuring their health and vitality for present and future generations. Together, we can make a difference.