The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Town of Conception Bay South have been tremendous supporters of this event, said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. DFA is supplying prizes
for the volunteers taking part while DFA staff members are expected to join Minister Jackman at Topsail Beach. A number of C.B.S. councillors are planning to drop by, while the Town of C.B.S. is providing cleanup supplies, food, beverages and a barbecue for the event.
Since June, MI Ocean Net has engaged youth and community volunteers in educational discussions, special events and beach cleanups through the Friends of Beaches (FOB) Network.
Friends of Beaches has so far conducted 77 cleanups, collecting 1,193 bags of garbage and removing 12,885 pounds of debris from beaches and ocean environments across Newfoundland and Labrador. Friends of Beaches chapters have been set up in a number of communities across the province, with more than 800 volunteers taking part.
MI Ocean Net engages youth from as young as age six during the Friends of Beaches summer cleanups, said Mr. Blackwood. MI Ocean Net also initiates, guides and supports the engagement of youth and community volunteers in all aspects of the marine environment, including sustainability, innovation and leadership. MI Ocean Net is uniquely positioned to make a difference for the environment and in the lives of the young people who volunteer with the Friends of Beaches Network.
Ocean Net Day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a welcome from Justin Dearing, conference co-ordinator, MI Ocean Net.
At 11:30 a.m. participants begin a beach, shoreline and underwater cleanup, followed by a mussel boil, beach fires, face painting and music at 12:30 p.m. The event serves as a thank-you to the hundreds of volunteers from around the province who took part in the Friends of Beaches Network and will also foster further involvement and commitment from those already taking part and those looking to contribute in the future.
Clean oceans are critical to our economy and fostering an ocean conservation ethic in Newfoundland and Labrador communities is important to their sustainability, said Mr.Blackwood. MI Ocean Net provides an opportunity
for passionate volunteers to take part in cleanups and take action regarding the specific issues that threaten the sustainability and safe use of our oceans.
All volunteers attending Ocean Net Day receive an MI Ocean Net Friends of Beaches T-shirt made from 100 per cent organic materials and sustainably manufactured in Canada. The shirts are supplied by Loblaw Companies Limited.
The Friends of Beaches Network is sponsored in part by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, which made $12,000 available to the project in the spring of 2010.