Thursday is World Ocean Day, an annual event that strives to raise environmental awareness. If you’re dedicated to organic living and have concerns about clean water, compromised fish habitats and global warming, take a moment to sign The Ocean Project’s Petition, which urges the United Nations to officially recognize June 8 as World Ocean Day.

According to the Earthwatch Institute, most of the world’s 17 major ocean fisheries are in decline, coastal habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate, and climate change and pollution are harming coral ecosystems possibly beyond recovery.

“Consider that a single molecule of seawater can and will circulate around the entire world ocean over the course of seven years,” says Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, president-elect of the International Sea Turtle Society and a former principal investigator for an Earthwatch sea turtle project in Mexico. “That means that what we do on one coast does matter to the people living on another coast half a world away. Animals like sea turtles, elephant seals, bluefin tuna and white sharks connect the ocean through their thousand-mile migrations.” (Please check out Dr. Nichols’ compelling essay, One Ocean, Indivisible.)

“The world ocean is in trouble, and if we do not solve some of its myriad problems, our beloved whales and dolphins will continue to spiral into ever greater danger,” adds Dr. Bernd Würsig of Texas A&M, a principal investigator of Earthwatch’s New Zealand Dolphins project. “This is our greatest challenge, from regional over-fishing of salmon in the North Pacific to all-encompassing issues of global warming. Are we, as humans on this fragile Earth, up to the challenges of saving a significant part of this huge ecosystem?”

Click here to find ways to celebrate World Ocean Day. For a list of Earthwatch events around the country, click here (PDF file). And please read Organic Authority’s feature article on which fish are fit to eat.

Photo by Peter Dutton/Earthwatch Institute: A just-hatched leatherback sea turtle heads for the sea. Earthwatch volunteers are needed to monitor sea turtles on the beaches of St. Croix, Trinidad and Costa Rica.