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Participate in the Annual World Oceans Day.  Shark Tank Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach World Oceans DayAs most 10-year-olds will tell you, the oceans are a very important part of our planet. World Oceans Day (WOD) helps more of us focus on the importance. So, if a family beach vacation is in your summer plans WOD is the perfect way to jump start your summer holiday by participating in a meaningful ocean event or activity with your kids.
 
The fact is healthy oceans matter not just to vacationers, cruise lines, and fisherman but to people around the world. I am passing the news about WOD because we all know that sharing important activities and events with your children makes a difference in how they see the world and on June 8th the focus is on oceans. Together we can make a difference.

Here’s the scoop.   World Oceans Day is an official UN-designated international celebration. Each year on June 8th citizens around the world take time to celebrate the ocean and its importance. From festivals and events to interactive programs and seminars the ocean and its importance to the well-being of our planet is the purpose. The focus of WorldOceansDay.org is to raise awareness throughout the world and encourage everyone to take action to protect our oceans—for present and future generations.
 
Save the date - June 8th. Ways to celebrate and participate with your family span the planet and include not just events held at aquariums and sea life refuges but also zoos and retail establishments. Most impressive to me is that community support and funding is growing so that ways to make a lasting difference in the well-being of the oceans is possible – even if one tide pool at a time. I have browsed the menu of WOD choices and pulled a few special spots as examples. 

The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans so any day is WOD in Monterey but June 8th will offer special activities for all ages (www.montereybayaquarium.org). Down the coast checkout the Santa Barbara Ocean Festival in cooperation with the Ty Warner Sea Center or take part in lively sea based activities at the Santa Barbara Zoo. At Cabrillo Marine Aquarium family-oriented activities will include arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, animal stories, a guided beach walk, a close-up look at baby animals and more (www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org). World Oceans day at San Francisco Bay Museum of Science and industrySan Francisco Bay Museum of Science and Industry will take to the seas aboard the 90' research vessel the Robert G. Brownlee to explore the waters and indigenous sea life wildlife (www.sfbaymsi.org).

At Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa the world of Dr. Seuss will come alive celebrating One Fish, Two Fish in style. Guests are encouraged to explore ‘Sea Monsters Revealed’ and learn about the abundance of life that resides in the ocean. Bonus points: Visitors may also take the Seas the Day - 7C's pledge and commit to make a real difference in protecting the ocean and its incredible inhabitants (www.mosi.org/).  Also in Tampa, the Florida Aquarium will be celebrating throughout the week exciting activities and end with the first annual Sustainable Seafood Festival on June 15th (www.flaquarium.org/).

On the Atlantic side of the state in Miami, the Miami Zoo will celebrate the ocean with family-friendly games, crafts and interactive activities (www.miamimetrozoo.com). One of my favorite spots in Florida is the Tequesta Florida Marine Life Center near Juno Beach. At the top of the list of truly special activities for families are the annual a turtle walks so it is not surprising to me that they would be participating in World Ocean’s Day with free, fun activities based on Dr. Suess’ One Fish, Two Fish theme (www.marinelife.org/).

In Texas at San Antonio Zoo June 8th will be loaded with activities that develop awareness and encourage the protection of the ocean and its inhabitants (http://sazoo.org/). In Atlanta at the Georgia Aquarium Dr. Seuss will be part of the activities, and games.  The Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach will celebrate with a "fishy fun" scavenger hunt will lead guests on a tour through the Ocean Pavilion to find clues to unlock a treasure chest filled with prizes. Bonus points: Visitors will have the opportunity to meet divers in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium and find out what it's like to be underwater with the fishes (www.virginiaaquarium.com).

Make it happen. For more details and an ever expanding list of events and activities browse the World Oceans Day website.

Content researched and written by Nancy Nelson-Duac with Virginia Aquarium image from FTF, child’s play courtesy of San Francisco Bay Museum of Science and Industry and sign from World OceansDay.org. 
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