Just a week after embarking on an educational ocean tour and beach cleanup with local students from Villanova Junior High in Conception Bay South, the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland is keeping World Oceans Day celebrations going with another beach cleanup.
On Tuesday, June 22 from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., K-6 students from Holy Cross Elementary in Eastport will enjoy an educational slideshow and discussion on the health and value of our marine ecosystem in Newfoundland and Labrador before conducting an underwater and shoreline cleanup at a local beach with teachers, municipal staff and community volunteers. The types of debris will be discussed and possible sources, solutions, and action identified.
“The Marine Institute recognizes the opportunity for communities and youth to get engaged in marine sustainability issues and make a positive difference here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Marine Institute. “The Ocean Net network of volunteers care about our oceans and it is inspiring to see what they are able to accomplish.”
Last week the provincial government announced $12,000 to the Marine Institute’s Ocean Net Friends of Beaches Network to conduct 50 beach, shoreline and underwater cleanups between June and October. The funding for this initiative is being provided through the $300,000 Coastal and Ocean Program, which was allocated in Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future.
Through this initiative, the network will bring together up to 1,000 community volunteers and establish five Friends of Beaches chapters across the province. The chapters will manage specific marine sustainability issues of their local marine environment.
Justin Dearing, Youth and the Oceans conference co-ordinator, said the event will be one of many and is just another example of the positive change happening in our province.
“Our oceans provide us with year-round protection, resources and a means to live. One day is not enough to do our part,” he said. “That’s why in the heart of every MI Ocean Net volunteer, every day is Oceans Day. We’re very pleased to see so much passion from students and teachers. Hats off to Andrew Poole and Holy Cross Elementary for helping MI Ocean Net rally students, teachers, media, municipal staff, divers, kayakers and government to continue celebrating World Oceans Day.”