Marine debris is a general term for garbage in the ocean, and on beaches. It is estimated that 6.4 million tonnes of garbage go into the world's oceans every year. Up to 80% of marine debris comes from the land, blowing and washing off beaches, parking lots, and roadsides. It's carried to the sea by rivers, sewage systems, and storm drains. Marine debris is also lost or discarded from boats and ships of all types and sizes. Serious negative impacts include: damage to coastal and marine habitats, harm or kill wildlife through entanglement or ingestion, transport alien species or dangerous organic materials, pose a risk for human health and safety, deter residents and tourists from utilizing the beaches, damage vessel or gear, and pose a navigation hazard.
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The Government of Canada proposed the concept of World Oceans Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the day has been celebrated internationally ever since. In 2009, the United Nations officially recognized June 8th as "World Oceans Day." Each year, an increasing number of countries and organizations mark this day as an opportunity to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. World Oceans Day raises awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help to protect it. Thousands of leading aquariums, governments, conservation organizations, schools and individuals around the world will celebrate with fun, inspirational and educational events.
For more information on World Oceans Day events regionally, nationally, and globally, visit the following sites: