Global day encourages better future for oceans

Global day encourages better future for oceans - A person riding a surf board on a body of water - Sea kayak

On Saturday, June 8, people around the world will celebrate the blue bodies of water — our oceans. Known as World Oceans Day, the event is intended to inspire action year-round to preserve and restore the valuable resource.

On World Oceans Day, family, friends, communities and the planet are encouraged to mobilize in some fashion to honor and protect the ocean. The Ocean Project, an organization dedicated to supporting partners to advance solutions for the oceans, is leading the global promotion and coordination of World Oceans Day. Since the early 2000s, the group has worked with hundreds of organizations around the world to enhance engagement and action each year.

Locally, organizations and groups will mobilize through various activities and events.

“Whether you conduct a fish survey while diving or snorkeling, order invasive lionfish at a local restaurant, or simply talk with others about the threats to our ocean, everyone can play a role in protecting marine life and habitats, on World Oceans Day and every day,” said Amy Lee, communications manager with REEF, which will be participating in World Oceans Day at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, as well as CRF’s Coralpalooza.


Join an army of ocean lovers in Florida and the Caribbean to help save and restore coral reefs. Coral Restoration Foundation’s Coralpalooza 2019 is June 7-8. Those registering will dive or snorkel on the Florida Reef Tract and visit the Coral Tree Nursery. Divers will have the chance to outplant corals with the coral crew, helping to save the ecosystem. There will also be fun for the whole family on June 8 beginning at 10 a.m. at the CRF Exploration Center at 5 Seagate Bouleveard in Key Largo, where Captain Coral will launch an adventure into marine conservation. More information is at



John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and its partners will celebrate World Oceans Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Activities will include a One Bucket Challenge cleanup, crafts, nature walks, auditorium programs, documentaries and more. The event is free with the park entrance fee. Representatives from several organizations will discuss the issues affecting our oceans and how you can make a difference. The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day celebration is “Together We Can Protect and Restore our Oceans,” with a focus on plastic pollution. One of the highlights will be the premiere showing of the “Changing Seas” episode “Corals in Crisis” at 1 p.m. in the Visitor Center and Aquarium. The episode focuses on the stony coral tissue loss disease affecting the Florida Reef Tract and how scientists are working to save the corals. There will be a question-and-answer session with scientists following the screening.


Surfrider Foundation has partnered with Love Beauty and Planet to organize 27 beach cleanups across the country on World Oceans Day on Saturday, June 8 from 9-11 a.m. There will be two options in the Keys. The Upper Keys cleanup group will meet at Harry Harris Park in Tavernier to remove trash from mangroves via foot and via paddleboards, while the Lower Keys cleanup group will meet at Boca Chica Beach.

These two events are single-use plastic free, which means participants must bring their own reusable water bottles! There will be refill options at both locations to keep hydrated. More information is at Surfrider Florida Keys’ social media pages.


Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) is partnering with Florida Bay Outfitters to lead a cleanup via kayaks on June 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weather permitting). Please arrive on time to fill out necessary paperwork. In order to volunteer with FKNMS you must be at least 15 years old. All minors who plan to participate in this event must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  If you have your own kayak please bring it. Make sure you have a life jacket. If you do not have a kayak you can reserve one from Florida Bay Outfitters, free of charge, for your participation in this marine debris cleanup. Please call them at 305- 451-3018 and let them know that you will be reserving a kayak for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Cleanup on June 8. You will need to reserve the kayak at least 48 hours in advance. Space is limited. On the day of the event you will be required to sign a waiver from Florida Bay Outfitters to use the kayak. Florida Bay Outfitters will drop off and pick up the kayaks at our meeting point. Meet at Garden Cove Drive in Key Largo.


Celebrate World Oceans Day at the Key West Aquarium. Participate in activities, games and prizes that the whole family can dive into from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. There’s also a surprise waiting for the first 50 people that walk through the door! More information at

Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.