Brooklyn, NY – The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which conducts conservation projects throughout the world’s oceans, proudly supports World Oceans Day on June 8th, an event now officially recognized by the United Nations.

World Oceans Day, organized by the Ocean Project with support from WCS and other groups, comes as a sweeping new national survey reveals that Americans are concerned about the health of the ocean and are ready to take personal action to make a difference. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been hard at work to make that difference.

Despite low levels of ocean literacy, when asked, Americans say they support protecting the health of the ocean and the environment. In a significant shift from views expressed in a 1999 survey, also commissioned by The Ocean Project, Americans now believe that their individual actions can have a positive effect on protecting the environment and improving the health of the ocean.

The concept for World Oceans Day was proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and it had been unofficially celebrated every year since then.

Official designation by the U.N. is a significant step in conserving and protecting our world’s oceans. WCS develops and implements innova¬tive solutions to the most challenging threats facing priority Coral Reef Seascapes and Ocean Giants through research, capacity building of local individuals and organizations, and policy action. WCS maintains a long-term commitment to priority species and sites in 15 countries worldwide, recognizing that true conservation requires sustained on-the-ground efforts over decades.

“The New York Aquarium is proud to support World Oceans Day”, said Aquarium Director Jon Forrest Dohlin. “We strive to inform our guests of the importance of our oceans through inspiration and education from viewing our many exhibits and want our guests to learn more about how each person can contribute to a healthier ocean and a healthier future for us all”.

“Both in New York and around the world WCS helps people understand, connect to and responsibly manage and conserve our living oceans. This day is an important time to reflect on how we are all connected via a single world ocean that is vital for the existence of humanity and much of the biodiversity on planet earth” added Dr. Caleb McClennen, WCS Marine Conservation Director.

Conserving Coral Reef Seascapes

The widely published decline of coral reef ecosystems world wide has been attributed to a range of pressures from climate change to overfishing. WCS addresses these threats with a science-based, on-the-ground ap¬proach, working closely with governments and communities in Belize, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Madagascar, and islands in the broader western Indian Ocean.

Protecting Ocean Giants

The world’s oceans once supported large and thriving populations of large marine vertebrates, what we term Ocean Giants. WCS is helping Ocean Giants flourish once again by developing conservation strategies and approaches to protect these icons of wild, healthy oceans. Our species conservation ini¬tiatives focus on whales, dolphins, elephant seals, sea turtles, manatees, and sharks in key habitats across the Gulf of Guinea, western Indian Ocean, south Atlantic, Caribbean, and Indo-Pacific seas.

Integrating Land/Seascape Conservation

Leveraging WCS’ multi-decade commitment to coastal landscapes, several “summit to seas” efforts are currently protecting large adjacent tracts of both land and sea.

The Next Decade

With the effects of serial overfishing and cli¬mate change on the world’s oceans becoming starkly clear, the next decade may be a turn¬ing point for coral reefs, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and sharks. Though we have more scientific and management tools on hand than ever before, the challenge of applying these tools in the most effective way is signif¬icant. WCS brings to this challenge a proven track-record in delivering results around the world that are based on sound science and tailored to succeed in the local context Interviews available by request.

The New York Aquarium opens every day of the year at 10am, and closing times vary seasonally. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $9.00 for children ages 3-12 and $10.00 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. Fridays after 3pm, admission is by suggested donation. The Aquarium is located on Surf Avenue at West 8th Street in Coney Island. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other Aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at Now is the perfect time to visit and show support for the New York Aquarium, Brooklyn’s most heavily attended attraction and a beloved part of the City of New York.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Fran Hackett