Themes in 2020

The UN designated theme is Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. The Annual Conservation Focus by The Ocean Project is: “uniting conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030”.

The idea for World Oceans Day was first conceptualized in 1992 at the Earth Summit: United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  It was a team from Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD), a federal crown corporation, that conceptualized and first proposed a global Oceans Day.  With consulting support from an NGO, the Ocean Institute of Canada, the first Oceans Day was convened at the NGO Global Forum of the Earth Summit, the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.  In 2008, the United Nations formally acknowledged and adopted June 8th as World Oceans Day.  Learn more about World Oceans Day history visit the UNESCO website here.  Read more about the birth of World Oceans Day in 1992 from a CaNOE member that was there right here!

Since 1992, World Oceans Day has been celebrated across Canada.  A nation surrounded by oceans on three coasts, we sure have plenty of reason to celebrate! As leaders in ocean education and the promotion of ocean literacy in Canada, CaNOE is working to share World Oceans Day celebrations across the nation and provide connections to resources for the future.

World Oceans Day

Run by The Ocean Project, this website is THE resource for everything and anything World Oceans Day.  With promotional materials, educational resources, and an international Youth Advisory Council, The Ocean Project keeps the conversation going all year round.

UN World Oceans Day

As the birthplace of World Oceans Day, the UN has continued their support by providing resources, running a photo competition, and gathering events from around the globe.

Oceans Week HFX

As of 2016, World Oceans Day in Halifax, Nova Scotia has expanded from one day to a whole week of community-run events. With each year the number of events has grown, with plans on national expansion in the future.

Oceans Week Victoria

Started in 2019, Oceans Week Victoria is a new volunteer collaboration to nurture a greater understanding and positive action by providing a framework to support educational and fun events for World Oceans Day, no matter how large or how small!

World Oceans Day Canada

World Oceans Day Canada website acts as a hub for World Oceans Day in Canada resources, activities, and events. It is the place to go for all the things you need to have a fin-tastic World Oceans Day! Outside of World Oceans Day, you can become an Ocean Hero (with a certificate!) through their unique program!

CaNOE has collected ocean literacy resources for the classroom that you can find in our Educational Resources Library.

Canadian organizations have come together to create the Ocean Plastics Education Toolkit for elementary, middle school, and high school, the perfect way to incorporate this year’s Conservation Focus in the classroom.

Every year The Ocean Project creates gorgeous, brand new posters that are free to use in a variety of styles and languages.  Find them here.

 If you are planning an event for World Oceans Day, make sure to check out this guide on event organization tips.

Check out the below events submitted by our members. If you have an event you would like us to add, fill out the form here.




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