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Our oceans need you—here's how you can help

There are many ways you can help protect the ocean. Whether it's by reducing your ecological footprint, volunteering for a marine conservation group, or learning more about the ocean, you can have a positive impact on ocean health.

Show your ocean love by changing some of your everyday habits or participating in some of these local projects, funded in part by the Government of Canada.

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Connect to the ocean during Ocean Week Canada

Participate in the over 220 Ocean Week Canada events taking place across the country from June 1 to June 09, 2024. Ocean Week Canada, coinciding with World Ocean Day (June 8), is an annual national celebration of the ocean coordinated by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition alongside hundreds of event hosts and partner organizations. It promotes a better understanding of the important role the ocean plays in our everyday lives – no matter where we live in Canada. The week's events are designed to motivate community engagement, connection, and action to protect the ocean for future generations.

Soak up knowledge on corals and sponges in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Gaspé Peninsula

If you're out and about in the Gaspésie this summer, why not pop by the Comité ZIP Gaspésie: Concertation / conservation / restoration (in French only) kiosk on its tour through the region?

Enjoy fun, educational activities for all ages about the fascinating ecosystems found at the very bottom of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The activities highlight the unique corals and sponges in the Banc-des-Américains marine protected area / Banc-des-Américains marine protected area in Quebec (Canada-Quebec collaboration).

For more information on events and dates, please consult their Facebook page (in French only).

The Comité ZIP Gaspésie team will be participating in 5 events from late June to August in:

Join a clean-up crew on the St. Lawrence River: Matane, Baie-Comeau, Rimouski and more!

Help clean up the magnificent St. Lawrence River this summer by participating in one of the 11 clean-up activities taking place along the north and south riverbanks from August 8 to August 20, 2024. Organized by Stratégies Saint-Laurent (in French only), the clean-up activities will last for approximately 4 hours each day. Volunteers will be provided with bags and gloves to help them pick up plastic and other types of debris. More information will be posted on the organization's Facebook page.

Discover the diversity of ocean life in the Magdalen Islands

Whether you're cruising to the islands or already settled in for your stay, the Comité ZIP des Îles-de-la-Madeleine offers a number of resources to help you learn more about the Magdalen Islands Lagoons marine refuge and its species. Take advantage of a kiosk and video presentation on the CTMA ferry. You can also enjoy art exhibitions in several public spots over the summer and autumn.

To find out more about these activities, please consult the Comité Zip's Facebook page.

Familiarize yourself with corals as you cruise: Quebec's north shore

If you're planning to travel the majestic St. Lawrence on the passenger-cargo ship Bella-Desgagnes this summer, you'll be captivated by more than the beautiful vistas. The Marine Mammal Observation Network (MMON) provides fun on-board activities led by an interpretive guide. The activities will help you better understand the protected corals and sponges in these Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence marine refuges:

If you're at the port of Sept-Iles after June 13, 2024, you can also take a look at a new temporary exhibition highlighting the corals and sponges in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence marine refuges. For more details, consult the MMON's Facebook page.

Help clean up the shorelines of the Banc-des-Américains Marine Protected Area: Percé, Gaspe Peninsula

This summer, help make the shorelines of the Banc-des-Américains marine protected area (MPA) / Banc-des-Américains marine protected area in Quebec (Canada- Québec collaboration) pristine again by participating in one of the 8 clean-up activities organized by the Mi'gmaq and Wolastoqey Indigenous Fisheries Management Association.

To learn more about the MPA, the association will have an information booth at the Espace Suzanne Guité, Percé. More information will be posted on their Facebook page.

Send a sighting. Save a whale!

Help the Ocean Wise Sighting Network gather data on the occurrence and distribution of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and sea turtles. If you see a cetacean or sea turtle in British Columbia waters, use the WhaleReport App available on iOS and Android devices to report what you see and directly contribute to important conservation-based research.

When you report sightings of whales in real time, large ships in your area are immediately alerted via the WhaleReport Alert System (WRAS) so they can take measures to avoid a ship strike or disturbance.

Volunteer as a trail steward with the Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve surrounds New Brunswick's only Marine Protected Area, the Musquash Estuary MPA. The Estuary is a key migration route for many species of birds. Its forests and undeveloped coastline protect valuable marine habitats and nurseries for both wild and commercial species.

Help protect the Musquash Estuary Nature Reserve as a volunteer steward. Conduct important conservation activities such as:

Immerse yourself in a unique marine-learning internship

Clear Seas' Indigenous Internship Program supports Indigenous students in pursuing research on a maritime issue that matters to them and their communities. Whether it is conserving marine life, applying traditional teachings to the health and wellness of communities affected by marine shipping or mitigating the effects of invasive species on traditional food sources, this program provides a unique opportunity for Indigenous-led research to advance, combining mentorship from recognized instructors and counsel from traditional leaders and knowledge keepers.

Explore Canada's marine protected areas on a giant walkable ocean map with augmented reality

Did you know all waterways are connected? Follow the flow yourself by walking across the gigantic Ocean, Freshwater, and Us map. The map is 8 meters by 11 meters (full size, or 6m x 8m half size, or 4m x 5m mini size) and highlights the foundational connections between ourselves and the water that surrounds and sustains us. The accompanying augmented reality app includes 360° videos, images, and stories about coastal communities, marine conservation areas, their species, and habitats.

If you're a teacher you can book the map for your school, free of charge. Download the teacher's guide (PDF, 3.3 MB) to view curricula-linked learning activities on topics such as biodiversity, climate change, marine conservation, and more.

If you're an organization or conference and want to book the map, fill out this form.

You can also experience the map from the comfort of your own home through the augmented reality app. The app allows you to discover Canada's ocean waters and watersheds in a brand new, interactive way! Available on iOS and Android devices.

Toolkits to inspire

Whether you are a student, a teacher, or a community organizer, there are a host of free educational toolkits and resources for you! Explore these resources, curated by the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition and the Ocean Week Canada national partner team, to help you and those around you learn more about the ocean and how to help protect it. The toolkits have been targeted to:

Find all these toolkits and so much more in the Ocean Week Canada Blue Learning Lab.

Make a difference every day

Be caring and considerate of the environment

Reduce consumption to prevent unwanted substances from entering waterways and oceans

Be aware of your ecological footprint – a warmer atmosphere means warmer oceans that negatively impact marine life

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