By Tess Malijenovsky
Fashioned by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008, World Oceans Day will be celebrated throughout the month of June in Beaufort as a dedication to a life-giving resource — water.
Being part of a county that is 50 percent land and 50 percent water, it’s safe to say that Beaufortonians have an amphibious nature. The local community’s deep respect for water will shine on World Oceans Day as a dynamic array of organizations and businesses come together to raise awareness of the challenges facing the oceans and waterways of the world.
To kick off the celebration, Beaufort Conservation District, based in Port Royal, was one of eight applicants out of 70 in the country to receive a competitive grassroots grant from the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water. These funds will help sponsor a marine debris education and disposal initiative program called the Clean Marine project.
In addition, artists, environmental nonprofits, yogis and Master Naturalists of the community are also raising awareness for World Oceans Day during several scheduled events.
On the official World Oceans Day, Friday, June 8, the Friends of Hunting Island offer “Dogs Night Out” at 5 p.m. and “Sunset Yoga” from 6:45-8 p.m. at Hunting Island State Park South Beach. Bring your dogs for a doggie meet-and-greet, obedience training, agility course and lecture on the effects of dog waste on the environment.
Then at 6:45 p.m., Yoga Chandra Center will invite the public to become one with the ocean for a sunset yoga practice for all-levels.
On Saturday, June 9, the Kayak Dash for Trash for Cash event is sponsored by the 57th Annual Beaufort Water Festival. Participants can help clean local waterways while enjoying an afternoon kayak tour of the Beaufort River. There will be a cash prize for the most trash collected and the most unique piece of trash collected. Bring your own kayak or one will be provided for you by The Kayak Farm.
Also on Saturday, June 9, locals can join artist Terry Brennan — renown nationally for his assemblage pieces created from recycled materials and transformed into art — in building a large-scale sculpture, “Locomocean,” at his second community workshop from 10 a.m. to noon.
“We’re going to disguise an abandoned boat as an artistic piece using the parts that I can use from the different beach cleanups that everyone’s been doing,” said Terry.
“Locomocean” will be revealed at ARTworks at the World Oceans Day celebration on June 16. ARTworks is stepping up as World Oceans Day headquarters for a daylong festival of family eco-activities. There will be yoga for “better marine debris scooping” from Yoga Chandra Center at 10:30 a.m.; Al Segars will speak about shore birds and horseshoe crabs at 11 a.m.; find storytelling at the gazebo at 11:30 a.m.; Tony Mills will speak on reptiles and amphibians at 12:30 p.m.; Rick Hubbard the Kazoo Guy will be playing music at 12:30 p.m.; Dave Harter will speak on predators of Port Royal Sound at 2 p.m. at which time The Rose Family Band will also perform in the gazebo.
“ARTworks is committed to working with community organizations on a broad scale. Anytime we can partner to be able to share the message of the importance of art in the community, we’re going to take that opportunity,” said J.W. Rone, Executive Director of ARTworks.
This free World Oceans Day celebration will be going on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Saturday, June 16, at ARTworks, Beaufort Town Center, 2127 Boundary Street.
Keeping the momentum going, Yoga Chandra Center is hosting “Ocean Motion” on June 30, a daylong event filled with yoga, kids art and the screening of “Bag It,” a documentary that has garnered film festival awards and sparked an investigation into plastics and their effect on waterways, oceans and our bodies. Tickets are $20, proceeds go to the Port Royal Sound Foundation.
Whether you’re sweeping the beaches, meditating on ocean sounds or creating artwork with Terry Brennan, make it a point to celebrate World Oceans Day in your community.