By Harlee Goldermann, Guest Programs Team Specialist

Have you heard June 8th is World Ocean Day? World Ocean Day is a United Nations-recognized day to raise awareness, help create policy, and inform the public of the importance of our ocean and what we can do to help protect it!

Did you know that the ocean covers 70% of the planet and contributes 50% of the oxygen we breathe? Our ocean also protects us by absorbing nearly 30% of carbon dioxide created by humans, reducing the impacts of global climate change. The ocean contains most of the earth’s biodiversity, with many of the species found on our coral reefs. Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but account for 25% of all known ocean life. Unfortunately, many of the species that diversify our ocean and reefs are depleted. Many of these negative impacts are caused directly by humans. Overfishing, plastic pollution, and chemical runoff are hurting the ocean – furthering the importance of protecting our ocean ecosystem. All of this has led many to campaign for a global ocean protection effort. This effort is one of the many reasons why World Ocean Day came to fruition!

World Ocean Day at Georgia Aquarium

We are committed to conservation efforts that not only aim to restore coral reefs that contribute so much to the ocean’s biodiversity but also fish populations and other animals to help restore order to our ocean ecosystems. One of the ways we are doing that is by partnering with conservation institutions around the globe. Georgia Aquarium is a founding partner of the StAR Project. This project brings facilities around the world together to help replenish zebra shark (Stegostoma tigrinum) populations in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. These waters have been protected since 2004. However, zebra sharks have been functionally extinct from this area for so long that the young people of that region no longer have a common name for them in their language. Georgia Aquarium is one of 76 partners and 15 countries involved with the project. Read more about this project at

Wold Ocean Day Over the Years

World Ocean Day was first proposed in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. In December of 2008, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized and established June 8th as World Ocean Day. Over the years, thousands have participated in global World Ocean Day events and pledged to help with their latest campaign #30×30. This is an effort to protect 30% of our planet by 2030. Currently, less than 17% of our lands and only 8% of our oceans worldwide are protected. Protecting our ocean is vital as we have reached a point where we are taking more than what can be replenished.

Help our ocean this World Ocean Day, too! Come visit us at Georgia Aquarium on June 8th for World Ocean Day. Enjoy festivities for the whole family and learn more. The proceeds from your visit will go towards helping us care for our animals and our conservation efforts protecting animals around the world, including our work with the StAR Project. We cannot wait to see you there! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. that is Humane Certified by American Humane and accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Georgia Aquarium is committed to working on behalf of all marine life through education, preservation, exceptional animal care, and research across the globe. Georgia Aquarium continues its mission each day to inspire, educate, and entertain its millions of guests about the aquatic biodiversity throughout the world through its engaging exhibits and tens of thousands of animals across its eight major galleries.

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