I've lived near the Pacific Ocean all my life. As a boy in Anchorage, Alaska, I looked out from my neighbourhood playground at belugas and orcas surfacing in Cook Inlet. One of my earliest memories of moving to Canada is salmon fishing with my grandfather in Georgia Strait. It was the beach in front of his house, where I first explored tide pools and spent hours in amazed wonder at these miniature ecosystems.
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Years later, I attended university on the shores of California's Monterey Bay, and rediscovered the ocean and its edges, often witnessing otters floating on their backs to crack open mollusks with skillfully applied rocks. Today, I only need to walk a few steps out my front door to check the tide, which embodies so many forces of nature.
What about you? Why do you love the ocean?
Like me, you may have lived on the ocean. Or you may never have seen it at all. Still, it's a fundamental part of your life. From a scientific perspective, oceans regulate the climate, produce far more oxygen than the Amazon rainforest, provide us with food and are home to 99 per cent of the world's available habitat. "How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean," writer Arthur C. Clarke aptly put it.
But it can be difficult to make a difference to protect something you care about on your own. That's why the David Suzuki Foundation launched our Ocean Keeper campaign.
If you love the ocean, and you're ready to do something about it, please join Ocean Keepers now. Whether you have just a few minutes a month, or are ready to be a community ambassador, you can play a role. Joining Ocean Keepers will allow you to work together with others to make a real difference. Whatever you decide, we'll help you along the way.
With the world's longest coastline, Canada is truly an ocean nation. But there's little being done to safeguard our marine environment. While Australia recently protected over 35 per cent of its marine ecosystems, Canada protects less than one per cent. Even the United States is doing a better job.
Together, you and hundreds of other Ocean Keepers can help ensure Canada's coastal waters are properly managed and protected for decades to come, so the people you love can continue to find the magic and wonder that is a healthy ocean. Find out more at www.oceankeepers.ca .
"Ocean Keepers" used with permission