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Caring for our Blue Planet

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earth1A global celebration for our seas is about to take place! Mark your calendars on June 8th for World Oceans Day. This event is where people throughout the world pay tribute to the bodies of water on our planet that connect us. These waters are indeed our life support system.

Water covers a vast majority of Earth; an amazing ninety-seven percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans. The oceans cover more than seventy percent of the surface of our planet.

Our oceans are rich with an assortment of plant and sea life, but unfortunately, they need our help. Climate change, weather disasters, pollution in our seas, destructive fishing practices, and other events are all causing a dramatic decline in the fish and sea life that we depend upon.

In this month’s Internet Challenge™, we will see how we are all connected to the oceans and are also influenced by them. It is a lesson that will make us aware that our every day habits can have big consequences to our oceans. Be a citizen of our oceans and spread the word about World Oceans Day!

Let’s start off by going to Global Ocean Observing System at

Read the material on this Web page and then answer this question.

1. “The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere.”From the following choices, select a synonym for the word “essential.”

(a)   Necessary
(b)   Preventable
(c)    Avoidable


Our next Web site is The Ocean Project located at

Click the image “World Oceans Day” and click “About.” Read the information on this page. Then click the links for “Annual Theme,” “History,” and “Past Years” on the right hand side of the screen. Read all of the material and then answer these questions. Do not add your comments in the “Join the Conversation” section!

2. How do oceans help us? Six reasons are given from this Web site. If you could rate those reasons from #1 (most important) – #6 (least important), how would you rate them? Give your explanation for your ratings.



3. Explain the goal for the two-year theme of World Oceans Day (WOD).



4. Why should the WOD project focus on young people for getting the word out about ocean conservation?



5. How did the United Nations come to recognize World Oceans Day?




Good answers!earth2

Now, zoom over to Wear Blue, Tell Two. It can be found at

6. In what types of venues are World Ocean Day events held?



7. Explain what blue clothing represents on World Oceans Day.



8. In your own words, talk about what “tell two” means.



9. If you could design your own clothing (shirt, cap, etc.) for World Oceans Day, what would it look like? On a separate piece of paper, draw a picture of it and be prepared to share it with your teacher and classmates.


Go to The Ocean – The Seven Cs at

Read about the Seven Cs and the pledge. (In the online pledge section, do not add your email address.) Read each “C” and click the forward arrow (“next”) to go the next page.

10. To what does the term “Seven Seas” pertain?



11. What are some ways that you can reduce your energy usage at home?



12. Explain how we can become “ocean friendly” when making our seafood choices.



Remarkable responses!

Extension Activities – Do one or all of them!

Go to – World Oceans Day at

earth3Read the information on this Web page. Scroll down to read each article. This Web site has great information, but lots of advertisements. Do not click on any of the ads – avoid them!

Re-read the section: “Climate Change and Oceans.”Â  What happens when carbon dioxide reacts with water? Give your summary of acidification and the problems it causes to ocean life. Have a roundtable discussion and find ways to prevent our oceans from acidification. Talk about it!

Design a multimedia presentation on the Seven Cs. Introduce each one and give details about it. Use appropriate computer software or paper, pencils and art tools to do this. After you are done, share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!

Create your own pledge for family, friends, classmates, and teachers to sign. Design an illustration for it and give pointers as to why it is important to save our oceans now. Show it to your teacher and classmates. See who will sign the pledge. Talk about it!

  • How are other locations celebrating this event? Go to the Web sites below and read them over. Compare and contrast any two of them. After you are done, share your findings with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!

San Diego Coast

World Oceans – click USA’s events. Then, take a virtual jet and choose a few other countries and see how they are celebrating WOD!

  • How can we help to protect our oceans for future generations? Take a look at these additional Web sites to gather ideas. Create a multimedia presentation (with paper and art tools or appropriate computer software) to highlight your points. Use any other Web site included in this online activity to include in your presentation. After you are done, share it with your teacher and classmates. Talk about it!

World Ocean

World Ocean – World Oceans Day




Congratulations! You have done a terrific job completing this month’s Internet Challenge™.

Answers to May’s Internet Challenge™

1. (a) necessary

2. Students’ own answers.

3. The aim is to challenge participants (youth) to view ocean protection as a way of life, with a special emphasis around World Oceans Day each year.

4. Research has shown that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change. Young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental actions. Research has also shown that parents are increasingly looking to their tween and teenage (ages 12-17) children for information and advice on these issues.

5. The concept for a “World Oceans Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year.

6. WOD events take place, worldwide, in aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, universities, schools, and businesses.

7. Wearing blue clothing raises awareness for ocean conservation.

8. The “two” represents two messages that you can share. One message would be about how the oceans are full of abundant life, but they are in trouble. The second message talks about the easy steps that all of us can to reduce our “footprint” in the oceans.

9. Students’ own creations.

10. The term "Seven Seas" has been used for centuries as a general description for all the oceans of the world.

11. Turn off lights when you leave a room, change your light bulbs to CFLs, get a home energy audit, buy EnergyStar appliances, unplug appliances when you are not using them, lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer.

12. By limiting fish consumption to a few special meals a month and choosing species that are abundant and fished or farmed with minimal harm to the surrounding environment, we can eat well and help out at the same time!

Extension Activities – students own answers.

Geri Ruane
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