On June 8, 2017, we can celebrate the annual World Ocean’s Day. In large part, we can thank Canada’s recommendation at the Earth Summit in 1992 when it was our delegates who suggested an annual celebration to improve our international awareness to the issues surrounding water systems around the world. Since 2002, each June 8th this day has been celebrated as World Ocean’s Day. In 2008, the United Nations then officially passed a resolution to recognize this day officially.
June 8th is a great day to break out the canoe, kayak, paddleboard and more to reconnect with the many water ways throughout our neighbourhoods. Celebrate by making it a full family day on the water with conservation activities and more.
Celebrating World Ocean’s Day
Every lake, river, stream or body of water is part of a watershed that eventually empties into our immense oceans. Caring for our local water systems helps reduce the downstream effects of our footprint on them. Here are some suggestions from Canada’s World Ocean’s Day website and how you could turn it into a family activity:
Reduced Energy Consumption
Do simple things such as swapping out existing lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs. Use fans instead of using air conditioning to cool our homes this summer.
Choose Sustainable Seafood
There are sustainable species that we can eat. As a family event, visit a local fish market and plan a meal that honours sustainable seafood is a great way to educate and celebrate. Some fish to consider are albacore tuna, Pacific cod, sardines, Dungeness crab and some specific types of farmed fish too.
Use Less Plastic
Plastics harm and kill a lot of our ocean life each year. To reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans we can do things such as owning and using a reusable water bottle. Bring your lunch in a reusable container. Use cloth or reusable bags for groceries and other shopping. And, of course, recycle whenever possible.
Look After Our Beaches and Shore Lines
When spending the day at the beach or the park, remember to pick up after ourselves afterwards to reduce the footprint we leave behind. Also, spend some time walking a quiet shoreline for some fresh air and a way to clean up odds and ends that you find there. Spend the day paddling the shores of your local water way and picking up garbage along the shores as a way to contribute to cleaning up our waters.
Avoid Buying Products which Exploit Marine Life
Avoid buying shell or coral jewellery to reduce the exploitation of marine life.
Ocean-friendly Pet Ownership
Read the labels of food that you’re feeding your pets to be sure the seafood ingredients are sustainable species.
Travel the Water Ways Responsibly
Avoid using foam products near the water as foam wears down and breaks down leaving debris in the water. Sanitize boats, canoes, kayaks and other water going crafts thoroughly inside and out to avoid cross contamination of new waters with a trip last week whose water may have been infested. Specific species such as zebra mussels and quagga mussels have been destroying water ways.
Enjoy the Day on the Water around Ontario
Spending the day on the water is the best way to become connected to the importance of clean water to our existence. There are so many places throughout the province of Ontario to enjoy our water systems. To plan a trip along one of our many water systems, visit the Ontario Trails website for a location.
Even if you live in a large city like Toronto, it’s not that difficult to stay in the city and still be able to enjoy a day kayaking or canoeing. Some of the launches for paddlers can be found at Bluffer’s Park, Kew / Balmy Beach, Brickworks along the Don River, Cherry Beach, Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre, Sunnyside Beach, and along the Humber River at several spots.
Care and Clean for Canoes, Kayaks and other Watercrafts
Remember to protect the waters and your equipment by cleaning, maintaining and storing your water crafts safely. Not only will this get rid of the millions of microbes to keep your family and pets safe, but it will also get rid of the creepy crawlers that may have hopped on board for a ride.
The best way to wash your kayak or canoe is to use some eco-friendly soap and water. These are easily found at your local camping store or health store. Some of the more popular brands include Castle brand soap which can be found at most health stores and Campsuds which is available at most sporting goods or outdoor stores.
Leave your kayak or canoe in the backyard under the sunlight for several hours to dry. Not only does this help dry your watercraft but it helps remove some of the dips or dents which polyethylene boats are prone to acquire. Under the sun for several hours will provide the heat necessary for these deformations to work themselves out.
Canoe, Kayak and Accessory Storage
Store your kayak or canoe up high along the wall or in the overhead storage space of the garage. With a pulley system to hoist the boat up above, this makes it easy to use for the whole family. With the canoe or kayak secured by a rubberized sling, it will keep the craft safely out of the way of harm from vehicles and kids rushing in and out of the house.
If your family enjoys multiple water sports, accessories such as Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) and safety kits for your boat, canoe or kayak can be stored on hooks or in wire baskets of a slatwall organization system. Wire baskets and hooks are the best ways to store items which are used again and again. It also makes it easy to have these items dry out thoroughly between trips back to the water.
If you don’t have one of these solutions, during your next garage renovation project consider implementing these valuable garage storage solutions to store, dry and care for your watercrafts. And, enjoy the water this coming World Ocean’s Day!