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Head to Galveston to honor the ocean with Artist Boat

Celebrate the ocean’s majesty June 8. / Photo by Christoffer Engström on Unsplash

by Eduardo de la Garza

The world’s oceans are majestic. Waves crash into shores, and tides are ruled by the moon and sun. Before humans were drawn to explore space, they were drawn to explore the oceans — to use it for travel and journey deep under its surface. On June 8, we celebrate World Ocean Day.

According to WorldOceanDay,org, “World Ocean Day rallies the world for ocean and climate action on 8 June and throughout the year. We work in partnership with youth leaders, zoos, aquariums, museums, and other youth-focused organizations, as well as a huge range of diverse organizations and businesses from all sectors in a growing global network. Together, we effectively engage the public, inform policymakers, and unite the world to protect and restore our shared ocean and create a stable climate.”

The first event was proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, but the first official World Ocean Day wasn’t held until 2002. Locally, Artist Boat will culminate their three-day celebration from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 10 at the World Ocean Day Festival in R.A Apffel Beach Park, East Beach, 1923 Boddeker Rd. in Galveston. Artist Boat’s festival will offer booths from sponsors, such as from the Houston Human Society Wildlife Center.

“Whether you live 1,000 miles inland or right on the coast, we are all connected to the ocean,” said Samantha Norris, wildlife education manager for Houston Human Society Wildlife Center. “A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Every year, World Ocean Day provides a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve our world’s shared ocean. The ocean is important because it generates most of the oxygen we breathe, helps feed our growing world population, regulates our climate, cleans the water we drink, offers a pharmacopeia of medicines, and provides limitless inspiration.”

Artist Boat’s celebration begins with a documentary screening 8:30 p.m. June 8. Seadrift will be shown at Saengerfest Park on the Strand. At 6:30 p.m. June 9, people can go the The Proletariat Gallery & Public House for a poetry reading of Cast Away by Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye.

Apart from booths, the World Ocean Day Festival will feature workshops beginning at 11 a.m. You can book Screen Printing, Poetry Writing, I Smell Something Fishy, Watercolor Painting, Drum Circle, and Bucket Brigade here. The Beautify the Bucket Art Contest barrels will announce a winner at 3 p.m. After the contest barrels will be distributed to beaches. And you can’t have the HHS Wildlife Center without animal ambassadors.

“HHS Wildlife Center will have a few special animal ambassadors for visitors to meet at the event,” Norris said. “You can expect to see Woody the Wood Duck, Bogg Hogg the Western Hognose, and our three-toed box turtles at East Beach on June 10.”

WorldOceanDay also offers resources. They offer event planners, posters and banners to print, and educational material for schools or personal use. At worldoceanday.org/resource-type/activities-for-kids you’ll find Digital Ocean School, downloadable lapbooks, World Ocean Day for Schools, Youth Guide to the Ocean, and more.

While June 8 is one day, let’s celebrate the day throughout the year. And make sure future generations get to experience the majesty of the ocean.