June 8 is International Ocean Day, and the month is dedicated to conserving our world’s oceans. The theme for 2017 is “Our Oceans, Our Future.” The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients, regulate climate, and are important economically for countries that rely on tourism, fishing and other marine resources for income, and serve as the backbone of international trade.
(Editor’s Note: This information is taken from the United Nations Ocean’s Day website. For all UN activities and events, go to http://www.un.org/en/events/oceansday/.)
Unfortunately, human pressures, including overexploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, as well as unsustainable aquaculture practices, marine pollution, habitat destruction, alien species, climate change and ocean acidification are taking a significant toll on the world’s oceans and seas.
Why celebrate World Oceans Day?
- To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
- To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
- To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
- To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
- To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
Wherever you live, in Zihuatanejo or in any waterfront area, now is the time to take action to preserve our oceans! Here are some things you can do.
In the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, residents and tourists are urged to respect and follow the clean beach rules established by the municipal government and the Clean Beach Committee.
Beach Rules in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo:
- Glass and Styrofoam are not permitted.
- No dogs, pets, or horses
- No camping
- No fires on the beach
- No automotive vehicles or 4-wheel vehicles
- Do not remove the natural flowers and vegetation
- Do not disturb the natural wildlife
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo also has a Clean Beach Certification Program to promote the conservation of natural resources. The public can volunteer and get involved.
The clean beach program consists of beach and sand cleaning, environmental education, cleaning of riverbeds and wastelands, a sea turtle and wildlife conservation program, beach trash containers and signage, zoning of activities with buoys and surveillance of aquatic sports, and construction and maintenance of ramps for disabled visitors.
In your home town, there are many things that you can do to help preserve our oceans. The International Holistic Tourism Education Centre has a list of actions that you can take.
- Keep pollution out of all rivers, lakes, and seaways that enter the ocean.
- Collect and dispose safely all garbage found on beaches, and prevent it from returning to the ocean.
- Prevent all plastics from reaching waterways, especially balloons and plastic bags.
- Preserve all fish species in the ocean.
- Eat fish only if it is harvested in a sustainable way.
- Throw back small fish that you might catch.
- Ask fishermen what they are doing to protect the ocean.
- Protect coral reefs when you swim near them.
- Leave all live species you find in rock pools where they are.
- Protect sand dunes, and replant under supervision of knowledgeable people.
- Maintain awareness that carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere are the prime cause of the ocean becoming less alkaline and of its species dying off.
- Ask all resorts and cruise liners how they are protecting the ocean.
- Enjoy recreational activities that are non-polluting near or on the ocean.
- Work with local politicians and the media to share what has been achieved.
- Create methods of tracking, identifying, and monitoring ocean species with local marine and ocean specialists.
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and the surrounding area, see: