On June 8, 2013, The Dallas World Aquarium, along with a number of other zoos, aquariums and conservation organizations around the world, celebrated World Oceans Day. In 2008, the United Nations officially designated June 8th each year as World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the importance of our world’s oceans.
Each year, DWA staff looks forward to this event and this year was no exception. One of this years’ themes, inspired by The Ocean Project, was “Promise for the Oceans”. Staff and visitors were encouraged to Make a Promise to do something that would benefit the Ocean such as reducing use of plastic bags and bottles, recycling, conserving water by taking shorter showers, or participating in waterway cleanup projects, etc.
Our in-house theme at DWA was “Let’s Talk Trash” and throughout the day, visitors participated in art and story-time activities that highlighted the problem of marine debris.
Children colored pictures from NOAA’s Understanding Marine Debris Activity book and participated in story times throughout the day. Staff Marine biologists, along with a graduate student from Texas A&M University’s Jones Laboratory, read from the children’s book entitled “All the Way to the Ocean”, written by Joel Harper and illustrated by Marg Spusta. The book details the journey of a young boy’s candy wrapper from a storm drain in his neighborhood all the way to the ocean. During the readings, staff interacted with children and their parents and discussed the impacts that our activities (even here in land-locked Dallas, TX) have on our oceans. We also discussed simple solutions to prevent additional build-up of trash and pollutants in our local lakes, rivers and streams.
We were all impressed with the knowledge that even the youngest children possess about the need to preserve and protect our natural resources, especially our oceans. Many of our visitors chose to make a promise, or left us their colored artwork which we posted on the wall spelling out I PROMISE…
As National Ocean Month (June every year in the US) draws to a close, we can draw inspiration from our youngest ocean advocates and see that there is an Ocean full of promise and it is within our reach. What will your part of that promise be?