Seal checking surfer. Photo: Delia Bense-Kang.

Today, as you cast a line, catch a wave, or walk on the sand,take an extra moment to  appreciate and say a quick thank you to the majestic ocean. June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day when we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it.

First proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the EarthSummit in Rio De Janeiro, World Oceans Day has been officially recognized by the UN since 2008. 

This year, the theme is, “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.” Like a heart for Planet Earth, the ocean is important in 

  • Generating most of the oxygen we breathe
  • Helping feed us
  • Regulating our climate
  • Cleaning the water we drink
  • Offering a pharmacopoeia of medicines
  • Providing limitless inspiration!

Join the global celebration by participating in  #WaveForChange. Popular singer and waterman, Jack Johnson, started the wave on May 25th, asking people to be stewards of our oceans. Simply take a video stating your commitment to the ocean, challenge for others to be ocean stewards, and then do the wave with your body to pass it on. Share online globally with #WaveForChange and #WorldOceansDay and online locally by tagging @HumboldtSurfrider.  

Example script ( from

“For World Oceans Day I’m joining with others around the world in a wave for change to help keep plastic trash out of our ocean and away from ocean animals. My pledge is to stop using disposable plastic bags and bottles (do the wave now) and I challenge you to make your own pledge, post it, and keep this wave going!”

Not into the social media thing? Make a pledge to yourself, tell a friend, or participate in one of these upcoming local ocean events!

Surfing with the Seals 

As surfers in our black wetsuits, hood, booties, and gloves, we sometimes feel like seals sliding along the waves. This morning there were a few friendly harbor seals checking us out and catching some breakfast. 

Photo: Seal watching Surfer here

If you watch closely you can see a school of fish scatter as this seal attempts to have a snack. Harbor seals are opportunistic feeders and eat sole, flounder, sculpin, hake, cod, herring, octopus, and squid. 

Fun fact: Harbor seals can dive up to 1,500 feet for up to 40 minutes!

Negative Low Tide pooling

Anemone. Photo: Jen Kalt.

Last week’s YWIO mentioned the state-wide BioBlitz being done from June 4th- June 12th in an effort to provide a snapshot of biodiversity throughout the entire California Coast. That effort is now in full swing and Humboldt County is on the map! The Humboldt MPA Collaborative and HSU Marine Lab hosted a organized Rocky Intertidal BioBlitz at Old Home Beach in Trinidad last Sunday, and the results are worth a look. 

Taking advantage of the negative two-foot low tide, the team collected 84 observations and 66 species, all within a couple hours!  Species observed ranged from Giant Green Anemones (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) to Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) and sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) to harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). There was even something called a Sulphur Boring Sponge (Cliona celata), observed. Click HERE to view the entire species list and photo gallery. 

If you missed out on this BioBlitz never fear, you have another chance to participate this weekend! The Humboldt MPA CollaborativeNorthcoast Environmental Center, and Friends of the Dunes will be hosting a Manila Dunes Bioblitz on Saturday June 11th at the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center. The fun happens during the low tide from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will explore the waveslope, dunes, dune forest, and document everything for a few hours, then come back together to upload observations, see what everyone else found, and get help with identifying species. For more information and to sign up go HERE

Sea lettuce. Photo: Jen Kalt.