On Saturday, June 11th, the second annual Haida Gwaii Ocean Day event took place at the Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay. This event was one of thousands of events held this year across the globe to celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can work together to protect it. This year’s theme for World Ocean Day was “Healthy Ocean, Healthy Planet,” with a focus on plastic ocean pollution prevention.
The concept for a “World Ocean Day” was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of a United Nations General Assembly resolution passed in December 2008, World Oceans Day is now officially recognized by the UN as June 8th each year.
“Keeping the ocean clean is especially important when you live near it and you depend on it for most of your food, fun and entertainment,” said Tammy Gates, who attended the event with her two sons. “We regularly spend time walking, exploring and swimming at the beach, and sometimes collecting plastic bottles and cans for recycling that have been left behind by others or washed up on shore.”
Highlights from the day’s events included marine-themed face-painting, button-making, seaweed tasting, and an exciting game of octopus tag in the field in front of the Centre.
Haawa/Haaw’a to all of the agencies, organizations, and individuals who made the second annual Haida Gwaii Oceans Day a success, including the Laskeek Bay Conservation Society, the Haida Gwaii Marine Debris Committee, Communities Against Super Tankers (CoAST), Islands Wellness Society and Tricia Jung. Haida Gwaii Oceans Day was sponsored by the Council of the Haida Nation, Gwaii Haanas, and the Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay.
OCEANS DAY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST WINNERS: First place went to Jesse Holt (jellyfish), with Brogan Kiss (octopus) and Mike Wong (eagle) taking second and third place, respectively.G̲