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July 13, 2021

A New Ocean, Another Reason For Marine Conservation

On June 8, National Geographic celebrated World Oceans Day by officially naming a fifth ocean – the Southern Ocean. You might be thinking, “Well, that’s cool, but aside from changing the words on a map, so what?”

Conservation and protection. That’s what.

The Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica and has a crucial impact on the Earth’s climate. This body of water is defined by a current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). As National Geographic explains:

“Extending from the surface to the ocean floor, the ACC transports more water than any other ocean current. It pulls in waters from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, helping drive a global circulation system known as the conveyor belt, which transports heat around the planet. Cold, dense water that sinks to the ocean floor off Antarctica also helps store carbon in the deep ocean.”

Because it is so important, scientists are currently studying how human-driven climate change is altering this ocean. And by naming it, experts can enhance their focus on this distinctive ecosystem that might otherwise be overlooked as just one part of a larger body. 

As National Geographic Society Geographer Alex Tait says, “[you] learn information about the ocean world through what oceans you’re studying. If you don’t include the Southern Ocean, then you don’t understand the specifics of it and how important it is.”

Awareness is the first step in making impactful change, and we share in world’s excitement at this important leap.

At WinCup, we strive to do our part to protect the oceans—all five of them—by working every day to raise awareness about the impact of plastics on marine life and by proposing a solution in ocean-friendly, people-pleasing straws.