Today is the fourth annual Mother Ocean Day. It takes place on the day before Mother’s Day and spotlights the magnificent bodies of water that make life on Earth possible.
Begun in 2013 in Miami, Florida, the holiday’s goal is to bring attention to the challenges we face as a consequence of our use and abuse of the planet.
Participants observe this day by tossing roses on the water, from the shore or sea vessels. While throwing things into the ocean to raise awareness of the dangers of pollution may seem a bit wrongheaded, at least the flowers are biodegradable. It is also a tradition associated with memorializing the dead and the oceans are still alive, for now.
Coral reefs are the proverbial canary in a coal mine, fragile ecosystems that cannot withstand changes of more than 2° Celsius. With sea temperatures and acidification on the rise due to manmade CO2 emissions, reefs around the world are beginning to die of a process called bleaching.
This may seem a problem only for scuba divers and underwater nature photographers but it is of importance to us all. Reefs protect coastlines, shelter 25% of ocean-dwelling species and support the fishing and tourism industries.
In the future, perhaps a more fitting tribute would be tossing ice cubes into the water. However you decide to celebrate, have a very happy Mother Ocean Day!