Honouring our oceans

In Ladysmith, there’s no doubt we are very lucky to be so close to the ocean, and World Oceans Day is a reminder of that.

In Ladysmith, there’s no doubt we are very lucky to be so close to the ocean. Many of us can pretty much walk out our front doors and go swimming, kayaking, boating, canoeing or paddle boarding.

Last week, we were reminded of the importance of our oceans during World Oceans Day on June 8.

World Ocean Day is an opportunity every year to honour the world’s oceans and marine life. It’s a time to think about how valuable the oceans are. Oceans generate 80 per cent of the oxygen we breathe, according to World Oceans Day Canada. We rely on oceans for the fish and shellfish we eat, and they provide a livelihood for many people who fish commercially or harvest shellfish and also many people who build up their businesses around watersports and marine activities. The Ladysmith Harbour has historically been very important to the Stz’uminus First Nation, and it’s something we promote as one of Ladysmith’s many great features.

World Oceans Day is global, but closer to home, the City of Nanaimo proclaimed support and encouragement for World Oceans Day and Rivers to Ocean Week, June 8-14, much to the pleasure of the Cedar-based Mid Island Sustainability and Stewardship Initiative [MISSI].

“MISSI has been leading a Mid-Island campaign for a northern extension to the proposed Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area,” states MISSI president Laurie Gourlay. “We have been gaining momentum … and this proclamation by the City of Nanaimo helps us all understand the importance of our rivers, estuary and ocean.”

It’s easy to take our access to the ocean for granted, but World Oceans Day, while just one in a long list of official days and weeks that are proclaimed across the country and around the globe seemingly all the time, does give us an opportunity to pause and think about why we should be grateful and how we can work to protect our ocean and ensure the generations coming after us have the same access and opportunities. It never hurts to be reminded.

— The Chronicle