World Oceans Day in Britain's Ocean City

The Council is joining forces with partners across the city to mark World Oceans Day 2020.

While usually World Oceans Day would be marked by hundreds of people physically attending events by the waterside and beyond, this year will be a bit different because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean that this year there will be less – far from it. No, this year all of the events will be either online or resources used in schools or for home schooling, so that the excitement and intrigue of the ocean is still available to everyone.

The National Marine Aquarium, The University of Plymouth, the Marine Biological Association, the Environment Agency and the Blue Marine Foundation will all be putting on some amazing events and live demonstrations for children, adults and families to log onto.

Meanwhile, the Council’s will be encouraging schools to get involved through some free National Marine Park primary school resources created by STEM Plymouth with activities and seminars for children that can be accessed at home and in school.

World Oceans Day will celebrate Plymouth’s incredible natural waterfront and natural resources.

Last September, city leaders, marine and maritime sector experts, partners and the public committed their support to make Plymouth Sound Britain’s first National Marine Park.

The National Marine Park will encourage greater prosperity and engagement with our marine environment and will showcase to the world the unique assets that Britain’s Ocean City has to offer, including an estimated 1,000 different species of marine life, world class maritime industries, research. It will also help boost the economy, attract more visitors, attract funding for research, create better access to blue spaces and connect more people with the ocean.

Councillor Sue Dann Cabinet member for Street Scene and the Environment, said: “We are so lucky to live in this city with its incredible waterfront and natural aquatic amphitheatre and so embracing, celebrating, even heralding World Oceans Day is so vitally important.

“Will World Oceans Day be like last year – no. but the strange thing is, this year’s events will be far more accessible to lots more people with activities that people can explore from the comfort of their own home.

“Much has changed because of coronavirus, yet as we plan for the post-Covid future of Plymouth, we see the National Marine Park as forming part of our recovery, and it is nice to celebrate that on World Oceans Day. 

"The National Marine Park will be incredible and so by encouraging more local people to engage with the big mass of beautiful blue, no more than a few miles from their front door, remains crucial to our success.”

List of events

The following is a list of online events and activities partner organisations have organised for World Oceans Day on Monday 8 June 2020.

National Marine Aquarium

9.15am – Rockpool Ramble LIVE
Watch live via Ocean Conservation Trust's Facebook page

10.30am – Pollution Problems – Online Workshop
Join us as we explore the content of a whale’s stomach.
YouTube link available on the day.

11am – Shark and Turtle Feed Facebook Live
Watch live via National Marine Aquarium's Facebook page

1pm – Habit-Hats Creative Crafts
Time to get creative! This is the Habit-hats Create Challenge, we want you all wearing a fabulous ocean inspired hat!
YouTube link available on the day.

2pm – World Oceans Day Dive Show
Watch live via National Marine Aquarium's Facebook page

For more details on each session head to:

Environment Agency

10am – Live broadcast with talks from a number of EA experts alongside amazing footage and talks from the WWF.  Chat function available.

Marine Biological Association

11am – Live webinar for members and staff from Dan Lafolley, MBA trustee and vice chair for the world commission of Marine Protected Areas, entitled, "Don't do stupid things to the ocean!" The recording will be made available later that day on our social media platforms. 

12 noon – Staff and colleagues @thembauk on twitter where they will be sharing all of their favourite things about the ocean. Join in the conversation by including #WorldOceanDay and @thembauk twitter handle.

10pm – Professor David Sims will be giving a talk for the National Geographic Explorer's club on his pioneering work on sharks. 

At various times through the day Cordelia Roberts will make an appearance on BBC Newsround to talk about World Ocean Day. There is also an exciting press release which will be shared on the day - a collaboration between the MBA, University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

University of Plymouth

The university will be running events all week, including:

Tuesday 9 June at 1pm – Professor of Applied Social Psychology Sabine Pahl and One Ocean Hub Research Fellow, Dr Kirsty McQuaid, will be joining a Marine Science Policy-Interface Roundtable to share their experiences of bringing research in environmental psychology and deep-sea ecology to policy development;

Wednesday 10 June at 2pm – Dr Kerry Howell will be co-leading an event focused on the Wonders of the Deep Sea and building capacity in deep-sea research, also joined by Dr McQuaid;

Wednesday 10 June at 4pm – Senior Research Fellow Dr Sian Rees and Research & Knowledge Exchange Fellow Dr Holly Niner will be leading events focused on the Blue Economy and the complexity of achieving transdisciplinary solutions for sustainable oceans governance;

Wednesday 10 June at 7pm – Building on the University’s long-established reputation for training marine scientists, Dr McQuaid will co-lead an event aimed at early career researchers titled Accessing Ocean Research Careers;

Thursday 11 June at 7pm – Dr Holly Niner will chair Transdisciplinary Research to the Rescue!, a session exploring the challenges of transdisciplinary working for sustainable and equitable oceans governance.