**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
June 8 is World Oceans Day, when hundreds of aquariums, zoos, museums and conservation organizations, including San Francisco based Shark Stewards, is joining with thousands of people around the world celebrating the ocean.
As Bay Area residents we have much to thank the ocean for. We are fortunate to have beautiful vistas, fresh sea air and diverse aquatic recreation including sailing, swimming and surfing. As a major seaport and hub to the east, the Bay and ocean have vital economic and strategic importance. The ocean is so critical to us every day yet we forget to peer beneath the surface.
Here in the Bay we are faced with a legacy of pollution from industry and human waste and continued impacts from development. Yet recent history shows the health of the Bay is improving. Harbor porpoises are recolonizing after decades of absence. Seals and sea lions give birth in the bay and we have many species of resident and migrant seabirds and sharks. The Bay is the source of Dungeness crab and herring larvae, and countless forage fish and invertebrates making up this complex estuarine ecosystem.
The current impacts of the Plains American Pipeline off the Gaviota coastline bring back haunting visions of the Cosco Busan spill, and the specter of another such spill inside the bay or in the adjacent Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.
The oceans power our climate, are essential for food and are critical for the survival of all life on the planet. World Oceans Day gives us an opportunity to appreciate and focus on our world’s oceans and its importance to the health of humans, and what we can do to restore and conserve the marine habitat and wildlife we love.
Shark Stewards and Aquarium of the Bay/The Bay Institute are hosting a World Oceans Day celebration with a film screening and talk on Tuesday June 9 at the Bay Model in Sausalito. For more information go to SharkStewards.org.