Young people and the sea

Celebrating World Oceans Day 2011

As a child, the ocean – that big blue 71% of the planet – can seem like a long way off. Even on the beach, while collecting shells or building a sand castle, the deep ocean, fathoms below, can seem as far away as a distant planet. But it is there. Right now. And it is full of life. Just thinking about it can ignite a child-like wonder.
The hope is that by encouraging young people to love and respect our oceans, and the incredible biodiversity that resides within them, we can inspire a generation of passionate marine conservationists.

And it is for this next generation that we must protect the oceans and pass onto them a healthy and thriving marine environment that they can conserve.
© © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada © Robert Delfs / WWF-Canon © Michel Gunther / WWF-Canon © Brent Stirton / Getty Images © Alain Compost / WWF-Canon © Leslie Leong © © Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada © naturepl.com/Mark Brownlow/WWF © Cat Holloway / WWF-Canon © Jurgen Freund / WWF-Canon © Jurgen Freund © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF

I'm haunted by the thought of what Ray Anderson calls "tomorrow's child," asking why we didn't do something on our watch to save sharks and bluefin tuna and squids and coral reefs and the living ocean while there still was time. Well, now is that time.

Sylvia Earle, Ocean Researcher

We need to increase protection of our oceans

Currently around 0.6%, or around 2.2 million km2, of the world’s oceans is protected. WWF is working towards a network of effectively managed, ecologically representative Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering at least 10% of the world's seas.

Learn more about WWF's work to protect the world's marine biodiversity.

Know more about how you can help protect our oceans

Video: Sylvia Earle's wish to protect our oceans

Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean - and shocking stats about its rapid decline.
 / ©: World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day
© World Oceans Day
The theme for this World Oceans Day is "Youth: the Next Wave for Change".

Our work in the oceans

  • Coral Triangle: protecting the global centre of marine biodiversity

    Smart Fishing: reforming commercial marine fisheries towards long-term sustainability

    East African Coast: working with partners to secure a healthy environment along the coast of East Africa
  •  / ©: Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon

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