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World Oceans Day: RT3D projects make waves and encourage conservation

June 8, 2022 in Community | 5 min. read
Ocean landscape with icebergs
Ocean landscape with icebergs

Not just a source of natural beauty, oceans are critical to all life on earth – and they’re at risk. Riddled with plastic and facing oil spills, overfishing, and increasing global temperatures, these ecosystems are in real danger. Read on to learn about World Oceans Day and why protecting our oceans is essential.

Today is World Oceans Day, a time for the planet to unite and take action to protect our oceans. This year’s focus is raising awareness and support for the 30x30 movement, which asks world leaders to commit to protecting “at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters, and oceans by 2030.” You can join the movement by writing to your nation’s leader.

Surf on the beach at sunset

Why are our oceans so important?

Oceans provide more than just incredible views and untapped areas for exploration. They also play a key role in our survival.

  • A breath of fresh air. It’s estimated that between 50–80% of the world’s oxygen originates from oceans.
  • The building blocks of life. In addition to fish, oceans provide many other foods, vitamins, and minerals that we rely on.
  • Climate control. Oceans absorb over 90% of the world’s heat and much of the carbon dioxide we produce, which means they’re integral to preventing climate catastrophe.
  • Unlimited natural energy. It’s clear that we can’t keep exploiting non-renewable energy resources. Fortunately, electricity can be generated by waves – and the oceans have plenty!
Looking through the barrel of a wave

Why are our oceans at risk?

Pollution

“Human activities are threatening the health of the world's oceans. More than 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities.” – National Geographic

Pollution of any kind can have devastating impacts on delicate ocean ecosystems. We’ve all seen images of marine animals afflicted by plastic straws, grocery bags, and beer rings, but did you know that air pollution can find its way into the oceans, too? According to National Geographic, air pollution makes up a third of the toxic contaminants that enter the ocean. This, plus the runoff of pesticides from agricultural land, factory sewage, and oil spills, is destroying marine life, contaminating food sources, and depleting vital oxygen supplies.

Climate change

The planet’s rapidly increasing temperatures are one of the biggest threats to the oceans. As the planet warms, so do the oceans, which can be deadly to marine life. Currently, 75% of coral reefs are at risk due to rising temperatures which can kill them.

Accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can also lead to a process called ocean acidification, which involves increasing pH levels in ocean waters. Among other risks, this can dissolve the shells of marine creatures like lobsters and oysters.

An Otter Planet by Habithéque
An Otter Planet by Habithéque

Celebrating our oceans with RT3D

Healthy oceans are essential for the survival of all life on Earth, so we need to protect them. We’re committed to ocean conservation as part of our ESG (environmental, social, and governance) efforts to build a more sustainable future and invest in our planet.

Here are some exciting projects using Unity to celebrate the planet’s oceans, educate audiences, and encourage action:

An Otter Planet by Habithéque is an in-progress PC game designed to teach players about water and help them understand its importance to all life on earth. In addition to raising awareness through play, An Otter Planet will raise money for charities to support water-related protection and revitalization efforts through in-game purchases and charitable donations.

Raft, a PC game developed by Redbeet Interactive, highlights the incredible vastness of the open ocean. Players wake up adrift on a raft and then fight for survival by crafting, growing food, and avoiding shark attacks. Experiencing this game provides a new appreciation for the danger, stillness, and mystery of the oceans.

The Hydrous is an innovative project that designs science-based augmented and virtual reality experiences to engage audiences with the wonders of ocean life. The creators’ goal is to provide “equitable access to ocean exploration,” which in turn builds understanding of beautiful and threatened marine ecosystems.

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We believe that the world is a better place with more creators in it, and we’re excited to see the inspiring work being done to realize a sustainable, inclusive, and equitable world for all. Want to hear more inspiring creator stories? Sign up for Unity’s Social Impact newsletter for regular news and updates about our Social Impact work.

June 8, 2022 in Community | 5 min. read
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