On Saturday, communities across the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day, and Galveston is no exception. Those who wish to learn about the world’s oceans and ways to protect them have two fun opportunities to do so.

Local conservation organization Artist Boat will host a World Oceans Day Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Stewart Beach park. Among the activities at this family friendly event will be presentations and interactive exhibits hosted by local, regional and state nature and scientific organizations. Sustainable fish tacos lunch plates will be available for sale. Admission to the festival is free, but there’s a fee to park at Stewart Beach.

A highlight, the festival will feature a Marine Debris Art Contest. Ocean lovers of all ages are invited to flex their artistic muscles and submit their creative masterpieces. The art pieces should be made with coastal debris that would otherwise end up in the ocean. Artists can collect debris found on the beach or in their neighborhood that could end up in waterways to create sculptures, two-dimensional paintings and other imaginative pieces. Entries for the contest will be accepted through Friday at the Artist Boat office at 1021 61st Street in Galveston. For more information about the event, visit www.artistboat.org.

Moody Gardens is also celebrating World Oceans Day with special events taking place Friday through June 9. They range from penguin yoga, SCUBA lessons, interactive exhibits, plus a special screening of the film “A Plastic Ocean,” which will be followed by a panel discussion featuring environmental experts. Moody Gardens focus areas for World Oceans Day are marine sanctuaries, coral reefs and environmental threats to the oceans. For times, prices and locations of the activities, visit www.moodygardens.org/wod.

“Plastics make life better, however, our dependence on plastics, single-use plastics in particular, harms aquatic and marine ecosystems,” Amanda Rinehart, Artist Boat education program manager, said. “Between 10 and 20 million tons of plastic trash enters the ocean every year. And it takes a financial toll, too. Marine debris results in $13 billion in damages to marine ecosystems annually in the form of fisheries loss, organizing cleanup efforts and a loss in tourism.”

World Oceans Day has been celebrated internationally since 2002. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recognizing June 8 as World Oceans Day.

Park board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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