World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is a time to remember we are all connected to the oceans no matter where we live — inland or on the coast. Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other organizations hold events from coast to coast to coast. Celebrate the life-giving role of oceans and take part in stewardship activities in your community.

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Regional events and activities

Pacific Region

Pacific Region

  1. Location: Descanso Bay Park, Gabriola Island, BC
    Date: June 5, 2016, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
    Description: DFO staff will be hosting a touch tank and will host a display on “determining the age of fish” at Oceans Day at the Park on Gabriola Island.
  2. Location: Regional Headquarters, Vancouver, BC
    Date: June 8, 2016, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
    Description: DFO’s Oceans crew will be in the lobby with information on our oceans and how DFO is working to protect them. Touch tanks containing a variety of BC’s marine creatures will be on hand, and cake will be served.
  3. Location: Regional Headquarters, Vancouver, BC
    Date: June 8, 2016, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
    Description: DFO will host guest speaker Kim Conway, who co-discovered the glass sponge reefs in Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound off the Pacific North Coast in the late 1980s, will present Glass Sponge Reefs: Discovering and Protecting a Living International Treasure. The presentation will explore the ecological significance of these ancient glass sponge reefs and focus on the importance of the impending designation of Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound as a Marine Protected Area.
  4. Location: Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC
    Date: June 8, 2016, 9:30 am
    Description: In appreciation of participation in past beach clean ups and other oceans related volunteer activities, Oceans will be hosting a cake by the sea coffee break in the breezeway and courtyard for DFO staff. Oceans Stewardship and promotional items will be on display during this time.
  5. Location: Nanaimo Harbourfront Library, Nanaimo, BC
    Date: June 8, 2016, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
    Description: The Library will be hosting an Oceans Day exhibit highlighting the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents MPA. Colouring Pages, models and a video will be available. Activities will include an ocean themed story time from 11:00 am to 11:30 and craft making from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. Staff will show the Disney film Finding Nemo starting at 11:45 am.
  6. Location: Prince Rupert, BC
    Date: June 11, 2016
    Description: Oceans Day will be celebrated as part of the 38th Annual SeaFest on Saturday, June 11th. Throughout the day, DFO activities will be set up at 417 Second Ave. W., Prince Rupert, BC in the office’s parking area, and will include information booths and a large touch-tank containing a wide array of marine specimens collected by a dive team the preceding day from local waters. Snacks will be provided.
Central and Arctic Region

Central and Arctic Region

  1. Location: Port of Johnstown, 3035 County Rd. 2, Johnstown, ON K0E 1T1
    Date: Saturday June 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Description: Open House on CCGS Griffon
Quebec Region

Quebec Region

  1. Location: Beach, Saint-Germain East Street, Rimouski
    Date: June 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    Description: Beach Clean up near Saint-Germain East Street, Rimouski. Discover coastal habitat and plantation of American dune grass with Comité ZIP du Sud-de-l’Estuaire and « La meute les Frères gris » (Scout, Pointe-au-Père).
  2. Location: Marina of Rimouski
    Date: June 4, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Description: Visit the St. Lawrence Global Observatory. Discover different St. Lawrence River accesses, such as beach and river banks, Boat launching ramps, marinas for boating and waterfront parks, etc.
  3. Location: Exploramer, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts
    Date: Monday June 6, 7:00 p.m.
    Description: Gaspésie scientifique. Round Table on Sustainable Fisheries hosted by Yanick Villedieu with Hugo Bourdages, biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (French only). Also be posted on the WebSite
  4. Location: The Naufrageur, Carleton-sur-Mer
    Date: Tuesday, June 7, 5:00 p.m.
    Description : Gaspésie scientifique with Parc national de Miguasha. Round Table on the origin of species 2.0 hosted by Yanick Villedieu with Alexandra Valentin, biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (French only). Also be posted on the WebSite
  5. Location: Different Ports of Québec
    Date: Wednesday June 8, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Description: Open House on six search and rescue vessels. CCGS CAP TOURMENTE (Québec, bassin Louise), CCGS CAP-AUX-MEULES (Îles-de-la-Madeleine), CCGS CAP D’ESPOIR (Rivière-àu-renard), CCGS CAP DE RABAST (Kégaska), CCGS CAP PERCÉ (Tadoussac) et CCGS CAP ROZIER (Havre Saint-Pierre).
  6. Location: Port of Trois-Rivières, Section 4
    Date: Wednesday June 8, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Description: Open House on CCGS F.C.G. Smith.
  7. Location: Port of Rimouski
    Date: Wednesday June 8, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    Description: Open House on CCGS FREDERICK G. CREED.
  8. Location: Port of Gaspé
    Date: Wednesday June 8, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Description: Open House on CCGS A. LeBlanc.
Gulf Region

Gulf Region

  1. Location: Gulf Fisheries Centre, Moncton, New Brunswick
    Date: May 24, 2016, 10:00 a.m.
    Description:DFO staff are invited to attend a presentation by Peter Neill, founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory on his new book, The Once and Future Ocean.
  2. Location: Éco-Centre Homarus in Shediac, New Brunswick
    Date: Morning of June 6 and 7, 2016
    Description:Pre-registered schools from south-eastern N. B. take part in a presentation by Homarus Inc., a non-profit research and development organization.
  3. Location: Basin Head Fisheries Museum, Souris, Prince Edward Island
    Date: June 8, 2016, 1:00 p.m.
    Description:Event to mark the 10th anniversary of the Basin Head Marine Protected Area
Maritimes Region

Maritimes Region

  1. Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Oceans Day Event
    Location: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on the Halifax waterfront.
    Date: Friday June 3, 2016 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
    Description: DFO employees from Ecosystem Management and Science will be at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to take part in the annual Oceans Day celebration. DFO’s exhibit will include fish samples from research efforts to see and touch, information related to marine protected areas, sharks, species at risk, and whales and the sounds they make. Other groups that participate in this event include, World Wildlife Fund, Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council, Dalhousie University, and more.
  2. Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE), 2nd annual Ocean Literacy conference
    Location: Dalhousie University, Halifax
    Date: June 7–12
Newfoundland Region

Newfoundland Region

  1. 7th Annual World Oceans Day Family Event
    Location: Marine Institute, 155 Ridge Road, St. John’s NL
    Date: June 4th, 2016, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Description: Free public event is a joint collaboration between DFO, provincial Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture, World Wildlife Fund Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Fish Food and Allied Workers Union, and the Marine Institute. The event showcases attractions for all ages including a variety of interactive and educational activities related to our oceans and fisheries. Members of the public can touch a sea cucumber or pilot an underwater remotely operated vehicle, explore a fisheries patrol boat or listen to the sounds of whales communicating, and much more.
  2. Beach Clean-up and World Oceans Day Activities
    Location: Cartwright, NL
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Henry Gordon Academy are having a beach clean-up followed by school presentations and a BBQ. (Free)
  3. World Oceans Day Celebration
    Location: Clarenville, NL
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Riverside Elementary are celebrating with displays of species at risk in Newfoundland and Labrador, patrol boat tours, spotting scope demos, demonstrations of urban pollution and their effects on wetlands, estuaries and the ocean and a touch tank experience.
  4. World Oceans Day Activities for Grades 1-6
    Location: Corner Brook – Deer Lake
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada is partnering with the Marine Institute, Memorial University, ACAP Humber Arm, Town of Deer Lake, Bonne Bay Marine Station and Environmental West for World Oceans Day activities. Students will create an ocean painting to promote clean oceans, work in groups on a marine debris sorting activity and build their own shoreline, followed by a clean-up of the school grounds.
  5. Beach clean-up and World Oceans Day Celebration
    Location: Fogo Island, NL
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Join Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Town of Fogo Island, Fogo Island Harbour Authority and Shorefast Foundation for a community beach clean‐up and celebration at the Fisherman’s Union Trading Company premises with local music, face painting, touch tank, and BBQ.
  6. Beach Clean-up and World Oceans Day Activities
    Location: La Scie, NL
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Hillview Elementary are having a beach clean-up followed by school presentations, patrol boat tours, a touch tank experience and a BBQ.
  7. Beach clean-up and World Oceans Day Activities
    Location: Stephenville - Port Aux Basques
    Date: June 8th, 2016
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada and St. James Elementary are having a beach clean-up followed by a sand sculpture contest and presentations by Fishery Officers on local species at risk.
  8. Beach Cleanup (June 8TH) and World Oceans Day Family Event (June 11th)
    Location: Twillingate, NL
    Date: June 8th and June 11th , 2016
    Description: Join Fisheries and Oceans Canada for a family day event including displays and videos, prize draws, salt water aquariums, patrol boats, spotting scope demos, poster contest, dunk tank, fish pond, touch tank and a beach clean‐up with the local school. As part of the Better Bag Challenge, 8 local grocery stores will be supplied with reusable bags to be handed out on June 8th.
  9. Beach Clean-up and World Oceans Day Activities – June 12th
    Location: Norris Point, NL
    Date: June 12th, 2016
    Description: Join Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Bonne Bay Marine Station and the community of Norris Point for a beach clean-up at Wild Cove, oceans related games and activities and refreshments at the community hall.


  1. Location: Baseball Field, Tuktoyaktuk, NWT
    Date: Monday, June 20, 2016, 2:00 p.m.
    Description: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in partnership with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee, Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation, Fisheries Joint Management Committee, the Aurora Research Institute, Parks Canada, and the World Wildlife Fund to celebrate the combined events and activities of Oceans Day in the Arctic and national Aboriginal Day. Activities will include a parade, BBQ, drumming and dancing, traditional demonstrations and games.

Objectives of World Oceans Day

  • Change attitudes — encourage individuals to think about what the oceans mean to each of us, and what oceans have to offer.
  • Learn — discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful creatures and habitats found in the oceans, and how our actions affect them.
  • Change our ways — encourage each of us to become caretakers of our oceans, and to conserve them for our future.
  • Celebrate — organize or participate in ocean events, whether we live inland or on the coast.

Why our oceans are important

By exploring our links to the oceans, we learn how closely connected we are to the ocean, and how what we do in our backyard can impact them in positive and negative ways.

Water travels from our oceans to the atmosphere, to land, to rivers and back to our oceans again. Our water resources are limited. The water now present on Earth is all there is. Protection of our oceans starts with protection of our rivers, and protection of our rivers starts with each of us.

The oceans not only generate half of the oxygen we breathe, they act as thermostats to regulate the Earth’s temperature and support a majority of our planet’s biodiversity.

Canada is an ocean rich country.  We have the world’s longest coastline linking three different oceans –Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific – and an immense web of marine life. We are all connected to our oceans, which are important to our heritage, culture and economy, and essential to all life on the planet. Canada’s coastal ecosystems are very important as they support a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial species. Taking care of our oceans is a priority and there are many different organizations, communities and individuals that work together to protect and conserve our oceans.

For the Government of Canada, one of the most important initiatives has been the establishment of Marine Protected Areas. These are defined geographical spaces in the water that are dedicated and managed in an effort to conserve and protect unique areas, ecologically significant species and their habitats, and representative marine environments. They can also strengthen ecosystems so they function properly, providing goods and services such as clean air, water and food.

For more information on Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas, please visit our page Marine Protected Areas and Areas of Interest.

10 ways to get involved

You and your community can make an impact on Oceans Day no matter where you live!

  1. Learn: Learn all you can. Read, surf the web and experience the ocean directly.
  2. Conserve: Conserve water. Be mindful when washing your car or watering your lawn.
  3. Reduce:  Cut down household pollutants and properly dispose of herbicides, pesticides, paints and cleaning products.
  4. Recycle: Reduce waste. Dispose of trash properly. Where possible, recycle, reuse and compost.
  5. Commute Consciously: Use fuel efficient vehicles, bicycles or carpool to reduce automobile pollution. Recycle motor oil and repair oil and air conditioning leaks.
  6. Don’t Dump: Protect ocean wildlife. Don’t dispose of fishing lines, nets or plastic items in or near the water.
  7. Care:  Be considerate of sea life habitats. Don’t bother sea birds, mammals and turtles or their nesting grounds. Support marine protected areas.
  8. Take Action: Get involved. Take part in a beach cleanup or other ocean-oriented activities.
  9. Host: Plan an Oceans Day event in your community.
  10. Share: Spread the word on the importance of ocean health, on community events and on World Oceans Day.
  • Follow us on Twitter for all the latest information and share photos of your World Oceans Day celebration using #WorldOceansDay and #CdnOceans.

  • Many other organizations sponsor World Oceans Day activities. For a sample, visit, or

  • You can also “like” World Oceans Day on Facebook.

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