World Oceans Day Inspires Nationwide Support


An anonymous donor to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is using an act of generosity to highlight the importance of the ocean to Maine and the planet. The donor is matching all new or increased gifts to the nonprofit marine research institute through World Oceans Day, June 8.

This opportunity has prompted individuals from across the state and country to give in support of the organization’s global ocean research. More than $250,000 in first-time and increased gifts have been donated since the matching offer was announced on April 20, resulting in $500,000 of new funding.

“These 80 individuals and families from Maine to California care deeply about global ocean health, and we are honored to have earned their vote of confidence,” said Deborah Bronk, president and CEO of the laboratory. “Together with the anonymous matching donor’s extraordinary commitment, their inspiring philanthropy will help us continue to advance what is known about microscopic ocean life and its profound influence on the health of the planet.”

Establishing a World Oceans Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of the ocean and its conservation was proposed in 1992 by the Canadian government at a United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in late 2008 officially recognizing June 8 as World Oceans Day. The days on and around June 8 are marked in over 100 countries by thousands of special events united around an annual theme, including beach cleanups, sustainable seafood festivals, film screenings, and other ocean-related initiatives. This year’s theme is plastic pollution prevention.

The Laboratory’s matching gift opportunity runs through World Oceans Day on June 8. Donations are used to carry out the organization’s mission to increase understanding of the global ocean and to educate the next generation of ocean leaders. To learn more or to donate online, visit

“We’re happy to be able to support Bigelow Laboratory’s work,” said Bob and Betty Young, a Richmond, California couple who made an additional gift to the Lab to take advantage of the World Oceans Day match. “Their concern for the natural world and humanity’s place in it is so admirable.”