Newport, OR — Tomorrow, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek will issue a proclamation calling on Oregonians to join her in celebrating June 8th as World Oceans Day in Oregon. World Oceans Day has been internationally recognized by the United Nations since 2008 as a day to celebrate and enhance individual and collective actions around the world to address climate change and help ensure the health of ocean ecosystems.   

The Governor’s proclamation recognized the importance of ocean ecosystems to Oregon’s economy, the essential ocean stewardship role played by Coastal Tribal nations in Oregon, and the need to address impacts to the ocean from climate change, plastic pollution, loss of biodiversity and overexploitation of marine resources.  

This is the first time an Oregon governor has officially recognized World Oceans Day, and the proclamation received broad support from conservation groups who comprise the newly formed Oregon Ocean Alliance: 

“Our oceans play a central role in the lives of so many Oregonians, and the choices we make in Oregon play a critical role in the future health of marine ecosystems around the world,” said Tara Brock, Pacific Legal Director and Senior Counsel in Oceana’s Portland office. “We’re thrilled to join Governor Kotek in celebrating our oceans and taking time to reflect on how we can all work together to tackle climate change, reduce plastic pollution, and address ocean impacts to ensure we pass down a healthy ocean legacy that can be enjoyed by future generations.”   

“Oregon’s ocean with its wild and rugged coastlines and diverse ecology is worthy of celebration and protection,” said Charlie Plybon, Senior Oregon Policy Manager for Surfrider Foundation. “Our ocean plays a critical role in mitigating climate change, is central to our state’s economy of sustainable fisheries, recreation, tourism and many essential social and cultural values.” 

“Oregon touches the Pacific Ocean for almost 400 miles and that area contains rocky cliffs housing thousands of seabirds, sandy coast full of resting seals and lush kelp forests concealing Dungeness crab, rockfish and urchins,” said Ian Giancarlo, Oceans Advocate with Environment Oregon. “World Oceans Day is a chance for us to come together, as Oregonians, to celebrate all that our ocean has to offer, and we’re thrilled that Governor Kotek is joining us in that celebration.” 

“Oregon hosts one of the most pristine coastlines in the nation and is home to a system of five incredible Marine Reserves, dedicated to ocean conservation,” says Annie Merrill, Ocean and Estuaries Manager at Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, and co-chair of the Oregon Ocean Alliance. “However, our ocean ecosystems face unprecedented changes that require collective action and government investment in conservation to adequately address. We are pleased to see Oregon continuing a legacy of leadership in ocean action, and as an alliance we are excited to continue the momentum in the years to come.” 

“Oregon’s waters are some of the most productive in the world supporting an amazing array of marine life that depends on a suite of vulnerable habitats from its iconic rocky shores and estuaries to its offshore waters”, says Joe Liebezeit, Assistant Director of Statewide Conservation, and co-chair of the Oregon Ocean Alliance. “Yet stressors on our ocean are increasing like never before. We thank the Governor for celebrating World Ocean Day and hope this recognition moves Oregonians to not only be thankful for our coastal waters but help in our efforts to do our best to protect it for future generations.”  

Oregon has long been a leader in ocean conservation, as reflected by recent actions to enhance the state’s Marine Reserves Program, establish new protections for endangered southern resident orcasreduce plastic pollution and declare June as Orca Action Month in Oregon 

The Oregon Ocean Alliance is a coalition of organizations working together to advance shared priorities aimed at protecting Oregon’s ocean and coastal ecosystems. Founding members include Audubon Society of Lincoln City, Bird Alliance of Oregon, Coast Range Association, Environment Oregon, The Nature Conservancy (Oregon Chapter), Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, and Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.