March for the Ocean!


On Saturday, June 9th I will join countless others to march for the ocean in Washington, D.C. and in other places around the world.  The ocean is not a place apart to be exploited irresponsibly or taken for granted. The ocean has shaped our past, is an undeniable focus of our present, and is the inevitable source for our future survival. It unites us all and pertains to every aspect of our lives: climate, fresh water, food, energy, health, security, community development, cultural traditions, and so much more. It is a natural system, yes, but it is also a technical system, a financial system, a political system, and a social system that will sustain us if only we resolve to sustain it for the benefit of all mankind.

What was begun in the 1970s as a global response to the impacts of human activities on air, land, and sea is now under renewed and determined threat, at the state, national, and international levels. The speed and determination of this effort cannot be denied, and it will continue unabated, even as its illogic and illusion is revealed, unless we, those Citizens of the Ocean, resist with every tool available. The collective will of the unified statement resonates as undeniable political and social determination to make things right.

And so we are decided that we must now March for the Ocean.

The event will complement World Ocean Day, the 8th, a day designated by the United Nations, which has been celebrated worldwide as a global commitment to ocean health and sustainability. At no time in our history has the meaning and purpose of that day been more critical as an expression of national and international affirmation that all efforts to protect and conserve our ocean world is the peoples’ will. The intent is to gather thousands on The Mall in Washington, DC, and in other places around the United States and the world, to express their support of all aspects of ocean protection to include threats to marine protected areas, renewed coastal drilling, cuts to budgets for ocean research, unregulated fishing, and the withdrawal from the international climate agreements, among so many others.

The march is being organized by Blue Frontier, an ocean advocacy organization in collaboration with more than 70 environmental ocean groups. The list is growing every day: you must be a part. For further information and volunteer sign-ups, promotional videos and press materials, please go to the event website:

Let’s join this march as wave upon wave of friends and strangers who have declared, publicly, loudly, and responsibly, that the ocean will prevail over attacks and compromises, by those with vested interests and fear of change, and will continue to support and embrace us for generations to come, by its healing sustaining water. We march for the ocean as a penultimate place for the protection of nature, for equity among peoples, and for universal social justice.

The sea connects all things.

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PETER NEILL is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory and is author of The Once and Future Ocean: Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society. He is also the host of World Ocean Radio upon which this blog is inspired.