Crack open any book about the ocean and you're bound to come across the word "teeming," as in "the ocean is teeming with life."
True story, with little embellishment or exaggeration: The planet's vast drink does teem. The ocean holds an extraordinary breadth of bio-based diversity, from those beautiful behemoths, the blue whales, down to organisms undetectable to the eye.
But while it teems, land dwellers are called, with urgency, to work on its behalf. World Ocean Day reminds us of our responsibilities of keeping the largest part of our planet — the watery part — vital and in fine feather, and thus serving its denizens well, too, from whales to zooplankton.
The Aquarium of the Pacific will spend Wednesday, June 8 marking World Ocean Day in a host of ways, from "(s)hows in the Ocean Science Center" highlighting the "sea level rise, sustainable aquaculture, and ocean health" to a vaquita-themed program.
The vaquita, a small marine mammal, embodies the word "endangered": Some 60 are left. That's 60 on earth, and the Long Beach aquarium has spent recent years sounding the call on behalf of the five dozen remaining porpoises, a call that comes with the somber reality that the vaquita's extinction may be a half decade away.
"Vanishing Animals," in fact, is an exhibit that just debuted at the institution in May, so spend some time getting to know those aqua-dwelling creatures that are facing a critical moment in terms of not just numbers, but existence. "(S)alamanders, juvenile American alligators, corals" are part of the display, a display that presses for the urgent need for conservation and serious stewardship from we humans.