June is a month full of water habitat conservation efforts. It also happens to mark the beginning of summer vacation for most people. Although things might be a little different this year with COVID-19 causing many to postpone their vacation plans, it’s still nice to get out of the day-to-day, even if it’s virtually.
June 1 – World Reef Awareness Day
On June 1, we think about the colorful, vibrant and lively reefs that entice us down just below the ocean surface. Historically, reefs around the world, like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, have been a popular tourist destination for years. However, with pollution and climate change, the once vibrant underwater ecosystem has changed dramatically. Take a look at some of these before and after photos from The Ocean Agency.
Research shows that within the next 20 years, 70-90% of coral reefs will most likely die, and by the year 2100, coral reefs could disappear altogether. So, what can we do to help preserve this natural geological and biological feature? The National Ocean Service provides some helpful guidelines in the following infographic. Click on the image to download a PDF version.
June 5 – World Environment Day
This year’s theme is ‘Time for Nature’. Now more than ever, it’s time to look back on nature. It affects our food, water, how we live, and of course, our health. Illnesses, like the coronavirus, spreads easily due to loss of biodiversity. Biodiversity is the web of life, from the air to the water, from the soil to the plants and animals, and finally to us. When one of these things changes, it affects the entire system, leaving us vulnerable for viruses like COVID-19 to spread uncontrollably. For this year’s World Environment Day, we challenge everyone to revisit their environment and think how can we maintain our biodiversity. Start by virtually exploring nature around iconic spots with the help of the UN Environment Programme.
June 8 – World Oceans Day
- 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by oceans.
- Oceans contain 97% of Earth’s water.
- Oceans contain 99% of all living space on Earth.
Earth is called the blue planet for a reason. Life begins with water. Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Think of the Earth as a human body. It is made up of 70% water. Imagine the water within our bodies were polluted or full of disease. We would become sick. Just like our Earth. Other than outer space, our oceans are the last unexplored territory. There is so much life happening underwater that we have not, and cannot see. Let’s explore some of our national marine sanctuaries with virtual dives.
- Swim with Sea Lions in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
- Visit different landmarks at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, like a coral nursery.
- Explore a series of sunken ships at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
- Dive in to 6 other National Marine Sanctuaries, available virtually on a personal computer or smartphone. For an extra-immersive experience, pair your smartphone with a VR headset or goggles.
Don't forget, you have unlimited access to our complete catalog of free worksheets from our FREE CONTENT page.