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June 8 Is World Oceans Day

By Beth Clark • June 07, 2018

Our Oceans Are Always in Motion

We celebrate a lot of random and often silly holidays here at ThriftBooks, but World Oceans Day is one that we take seriously, and not just because we sell books about it (though we do that too). From its proposed inception in 1992 (thank you, Canada!) to its official UN adoption in 2008, World Oceans Day has given humans an opportunity to celebrate, protect, conserve, and learn about why healthy oceans are critical to all of earth's inhabitants, land, and sea alike. (We're called the blue planet for a reason, yo!)

Reefs Are Essential to Life Above the Surface

93,000+ species call reefs home, but besides being beautiful and biodiverse playgrounds that provides artistic and literary inspiration, reefs and oceans do super important things, like:

  • Generate 70% of the oxygen we breathe.
  • Feed us—whether you're a carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, or flexitarian, it's almost guaranteed that the oceans produce something you eat.
  • Regulate the earth's climate with currents that act as conveyor belt systems and balance out the uneven distribution of solar radiation.
  • Provide people all over the world with jobs, from village fishermen and marine biologists to cruise ship captains and so many more.
  • Present promising opportunities for new medicines—two marine-derived drugs are already in use and a dozen more are in clinical trials to treat conditions like Alzheimers and lung cancer.

And Now, for the Books

World Oceans Day is about EVERYTHING ocean, so here are a few book picks for grownups and kids that will make you think and hopefully inspire you (plus make you laugh a little).

Polar Obsession by Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen is a marine biologist and NatGeo photographer who grew up in a tiny Inuit village in Northern Canada, making him uniquely qualified to further the cause of ocean conservation and tell the heartfelt stories that compel the rest of us to pay attention. For Nicklen, it's personal, and his bold expeditions blend art and science as they plunge him into freezing seas to capture unprecedented, up-close, and sometimes seemingly borderline insane documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals.

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore

If you've ever wondered why humpback whales sing (or what they're saying), Moore's hilarious answer to both is a must-read for cetacean lovers with a twisted sense of humor: One day when marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew are poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals, a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: "Bite me." (It only gets better from there.)

Nature Photography: Documenting the Wild World by Ralph Lee Hopkins

For aspiring oceanographers, photographers, journalists, and anyone else who wants to learn how to document the moment while being in the moment (in nature, in the elements), Hopkins is one of the world's best, and his book is an amazing technical and inspirational resource that's as beautiful as it is practical.

The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw

Known to millions of readers of The Perfect Storm as the captain of the Hannah Boden, the Andrea Gail's sister ship, Greenlaw is also known as one of the best sea captains on the East Coast. Here she offers an adventure-soaked tale of her own, complete with danger, humor, and characters so colorful they seem to have been ripped from the pages of Moby Dick.

DK Eyewitness: Ocean by Miranda MacQuitty

Dive in and discover the watery world covering most of our earth and the amazing wildlife in its depths through images, maps, and text. From the shore to the darkest depths of the ocean floor, learn about predators and prey, gas and oil exploration, products of the ocean, brave explorers, and what humans can do to help preserve one of the earth's most valuable resources.

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz

Dive into the ocean in this noisy rhyming romp from the international bestselling author of Giraffes Can't Dance. Bursting with bold illustrations and favorite sea creatures, including sharks, whales, octopuses, this is a fantastic picture book to read aloud and share with young children.

2018's action focus is preventing plastic pollution, so please do whatever you can to help clean them up and reduce the amount of plastics you use!

Read more by Beth Clark

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