Canadian environmentalists call for stronger ocean protection measures

09:09, June 07, 2011      

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Alarmed by last year's serious oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and a leak into the sea of highly radioactive water from Japan's crippled nuclear reactors, some Canadian environmentalists are calling for greater steps to be taken to protect the world's oceans.

At an event to promote the upcoming World Ocean Day on Wednesday at Blackie Spit Park in Surrey in Canada's British Columbia, about a dozen open-air tents were set up around the park providing information on marine and bird life, habitat enhancement, water quality, pesticide usage, as well as plant life of the marine variety.

The theme of this year's World Oceans Day is "Youth: the next wave of change," with the aim of getting young people to view the protection of the oceans as a way of life.

Yvonne Dawydiak, a volunteer coordinator for the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society, patrons of an area that is part of the Fraser River Estuary and an important feeding ground for migratory shorebirds, said kids were the best resource for getting the conservation message across.

"Our oceans are under more and more pressure from development, from pollution, and overfishing, ... and young children tend to have an innate sense of responsibility toward the environment," Dawydiak said.

"The more we can help them develop that and grow with it and continue to understand on a deeper level the issues surrounding or affecting our oceans, the better," Dawydiak added.

Among the things Dawydiak was teaching children visiting her booth was the impact they have on the environment every time they enjoy a day at the seaside.

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