In his role as director of the newly launched Ocean Pollution Science Program at Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. Peter Ross returns to the places he likes best: the islands, coastal waters and the open oceans of Canada’s west coast . . . and the lab.
He’s spent much of the past 25 to 30 years there collecting, studying and reporting his findings about pollution in the Pacific Ocean, and its effects on its inhabitants; he’s considered a world expert in the field and is the only marine mammal toxicologist in Canada.
Here at the Aquarium, Dr. Ross will continue to conduct international-caliber scientific research on ocean pollution, and provide comprehensive and authoritative information for individuals, communities and countries. The program will help inform partners and stakeholders in the science, government and private sectors on the health of our oceans.
Threats to ocean health include urban and industrial effluents, runoff from forestry and agriculture, oil and gas shipping and exploration, plastics and debris, and climate change. The health of our oceans is critical, and by launching this program, we’re hoping to meet immediate scientific, conservation and education needs. Although the issue of ocean pollution is often vexing and complex, it’s also worthy of dedicated research.
This vital research will take place on the ocean and in the laboratory. State-of-the-art equipment for measuring and assessing the impacts of ocean pollutants will be housed in a new laboratory at Vancouver Aquarium. The program will launch new studies and build on past research led by Dr. Ross, including:
- Marine mammals as sentinels of ocean pollution
- Clean seafoods for coastal communities
- Marine debris and microplastics
- Hydrocarbons in the coastal environment
- Emerging pollutant concerns
Want to do your own part to combat ocean pollution? This spring, for the first time, all Canadians from coast to coast are invited to join in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, taking place April 1 – July 31. Learn more and register at shorelinecleanup.ca.