World Oceans Day is celebrated across the globe on 8 June each year and the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is bringing the festivities to Cayman again in 2019.

Friends of all ages are welcome to join the Institute in local celebrations of oceans by participating in its Healthy Reefs activities at the Camana Bay Cinema on Saturday.

Healthy Reefs Resolutions

Many coral reefs are threatened by human activities, so an important part of this World Oceans Day is to highlight how everyone can contribute to keeping coral reefs healthy. Institute representatives will be asking attendees to make a Healthy Reefs Resolution on camera, where people can share their plans on how they can help coral reefs in the Cayman Islands. It is an easy way to show their commitment to protecting coral reefs.

Healthy Reefs Challenge

In addition to the Healthy Reefs Resolutions, the Institute will launch the Healthy Reefs Challenge, a five-month effort that will run through 15 Oct. The challenge is set up so both individuals and companies/organisations can participate in a series of tasks each month where the activities will make a difference to the oceans and promote healthy coral reefs. Participants will report on their efforts every month, sharing photos and results from the challenge items on the list. These will be assigned points and the winners of both the individual and company/organisational Healthy Reefs Challenge will be announced at the Festival of Seas Gala on 16 Nov. Interested parties can register for the Healthy Reefs Challenge at reefresearch.org/challenge.

‘Reefs Go Live’

At 1:45pm, registered participants will join the Institute’s scientists and educators in Little Cayman on a special ‘virtual dive’ during the popular ‘Reefs Go Live’ broadcast. The audience will be taken on a virtual underwater experience in Little Cayman, learning about why ‘We Love Healthy Reefs’ as the dive team showcases some of the most beautiful coral reefs during the live dive. The team will talk about why coral reefs are important, some of the threats the islands’ reefs are facing, and what the Central Caribbean Marine Institute is doing to protect and restore corals reefs in the Cayman Islands. Everyone will leave with some great ideas about how they can each do their part to ensure Cayman continues to have some of the healthiest coral reefs in the Caribbean.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive shortly ahead of the ‘Reefs Go Live’ broadcast at the cinema in order to make their Healthy Reefs Resolution and learn more about the Healthy Reefs Challenge. After checking in at registration and making a resolution, participants can enter the cinema for the broadcast, which will run from 1:45–2:30pm. Snacks are available for purchase from the cinema’s concessions stand.

Participation in the local World Oceans Day event is free, thanks to event supporters, but the public is asked to register through the online site https://donate.reefresearch.org/worldoceansday2019.

For more information about the Institute’s research projects, coral restoration efforts and other upcoming Healthy Reefs events, such as the Reef Lecture series, visit reefresearch.org or like its page on Facebook.

History of World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day raises the profile of the ocean, connects people worldwide, and inspires continuing action year-round to protect and restore this amazing resource that everyone depends on.

The Ocean Project helps lead global promotion and coordination of World Oceans Day. Since 2002, it has collaboratively worked in partnership with hundreds of organisations and networks from all sectors to help rally the world around 8 June, and continue to grow engagement and action for the shared ocean throughout the year.

The Government of Canada proposed the concept of a World Ocean Day at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 2002, when The Ocean Project began to globally promote and coordinate World Oceans Day development and activities, there were only a handful of events in a few countries. Now, there are thousands of events in over 120 countries and a social media reach into the several billions. To help grow recognition of World Ocean Day, together with the World Ocean Network and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, from 2004 to 2008 The Ocean Project developed and widely circulated a petition urging the United Nations to officially recognize World Ocean Day as 8 June each year. As a result of working with hundreds of partner organisations, and thanks to tens of thousands of people from all parts of the world who signed online and paper copies of the petition, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2008, officially recognising 8 June as World Oceans Day each year.

About the Central Caribbean Marine Institute

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward, Earl of Sussex, front row, centre, spent some time at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute when they visited the Cayman Islands in 2016. Prince Edward has been CCMI’s patron since 2003.

The Institute is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1998 to protect the future of coral reefs, envisioning a world with vibrant oceans and healthy coral reef ecosystems. It seeks to be the Caribbean’s premier marine research institute by delivering cutting edge research, transforming conservation strategy and developing education programmes of excellence – discovering and promoting real solutions to declining ocean health. Its plan is to invigorate key species and understand key ocean processes that drive reef resilience. It supports early career scientists who are innovating ways to improve coral reef health. It is transforming conservation strategy and work to inspire the change that is needed to achieve its mission. The Institute is populated with pioneers in the region working to reverse the decline of coral reefs.

The Institute has become internationally known for its work on coral nurseries.

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