Half of the oxygen we breathe comes from plankton that live in the ocean. Clearly, our world’s oceans are a big part of our lives. On June 8, World Oceans Day is celebrated around the world to raise awareness of our connections to our blue planet.
This year, the Vancouver Aquarium is celebrating World Oceans Day with a number of its ocean partners whose missions align with ours. “Our mission of is to effect the conservation aquatic life” says Dolf DeJong, Vice President of Conservation and Education at the Vancouver Aquarium, “and we accomplish our mission by creating meaningful ways for people to engage in conservation-related activities, from learning about marine life to visiting the shoreline to clean up debris.”
Visitors coming to the Aquarium on Saturday, June 6 can participate in our World Oceans Day celebration and meet people that are on the front-line of ocean conservation, including staff from our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, Ocean Wise, Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network and Howe Sound Research. There will be an opportunity for guests to complete a questionnaire to be entered into a draw for an up close animal encounter at the Aquarium.
At 10 a.m. visitors are invited to the 4D Goldcorp theatre for a presentation by The Ocean Legacy Foundation and Resynergi, LLC, where they will demonstrate a new solution on converting plastic into fuel. They are working together to identify plastic pollution hotspots around the world, so they can send expeditions to those hotspots and remove the pollution with plastics-to-oil conversion technology. This event will also be live broadcast for those watching at home.
Over the course of the weekend, coders, developers, designers and other programmers will converge at the Aquarium to take part in the second annual Fishackathon, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, to create new applications to help fishers work smarter and more safely in sustainable fishing.
June 6 also coincides with Access Day at the Aquarium. American Sign Language interpreters will be on hand to engage with visitors, the Wet Lab will be open for hands-on learning and the CAN Van Interactive Autism Exhibit will be onsite to providing education about Autism Spectrum Disorder for all ages.
On Monday June 8, to mark the official World Oceans Day, Vancouver Aquarium and the Georgia Strait Alliance are hosting a special evening event, A Celebration of the Salish Sea. The event features Audrey DeLella Benedict and Dr. Joe Gaydos, authors of a new book, The Salish Sea, and a short documentary film, The Unknown Sea. Donations made during this event will support both the Vancouver Aquarium’s and Georgia Strait Alliance’s work in aquatic conservation.
Whether you choose to come to the Aquarium to celebrate World Oceans Day or do something on your own, like participating in a shoreline cleanup, we hope that you’ll be inspired to protect the ocean and have fun doing it!