Born and raised here on the West Coast, I feel a strong connection to this little slice of paradise. One of my favourite places to be is on a quiet piece of beach watching the waves roll in. With the exception of a poorly thought out move with a boyfriend to the Prairies the summer I was 20, I’ve always lived near the ocean. It feels like home to me.
June 8th is World Oceans Day, an occasion to remember how we are all connected by oceans, regardless of where we live. World Ocean Day was first proposed by the Canadian government back in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As grassroots celebrations grew, World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, and is now celebrated around the world.
Why are our oceans so important? Because they:
- regulate the climate
- produce the majority of the oxygen we breathe
- feed millions and millions of people around the world
- provide us with important medicines
- are home to a vast and incredible array of irreplaceable plants and animals
This year’s theme is, “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet.”
“The ocean is the heart of our planet, and like your heart pumping blood through your body, the ocean connects all people across our planet,” said Alyssa Isakower, World Oceans Day Coordinator. “People come together on World Oceans Day to celebrate that connection, and, now more than ever, also to help solve problems like plastic trash in our ocean.”
Take the Better Bag Challenge!
More than 8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the ocean every year, including millions of disposable plastic bags and bottles. We use over one million plastic bags every minute! This plastic pollution has serious consequences for both sea life and people. We need to work together to cut down our use of disposable plastic and reduce the amount of plastic trash in our oceans.
What’s Happening in Greater Vancouver
Here at home, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is putting on a number of special events and programs to mark this important day. Highlights include a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup tsunami debris display showing the impact the 2011 tsunami in Japan had on B.C shorelines. The Aquarium will also be joining 14 other aquariums around the world in the annual Fishackathon that brings together technologists and coders over a weekend to create tools to address challenges in sustainable fishing around the world.
Surrey is also celebrating World Oceans Day at Blackie Spit Park on Sunday, June 7, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Celebrate our oceans with family activities, great food, and entertainment!