On January 9th, 2017, I made a commitment to myself to do whatever I can, at least in some small way, save our ocean, to protect it, to conserve it.
For now I will be taking action quietly as a volunteer behind the scenes in my own way, and then looking for opportunities with organizations and companies who make even a bigger difference.
As I live amongst nature with the lifestyle that I live, I always try do something for our planet but it really isn’t enough. It’s not good enough.
I can do something more. We call can do something.
Small changes together, yield big changes.
I have lived near the ocean actively since 1999 on Vancouver Island, and prior to that, I was at the ocean as often as possible, while in Vancouver and also at White Rock and Crescent Beach.
While living rural on Vancouver Island (and Denman Island) near the sea … I have been on it, in it, around it; I see it, I walk it’s shores, look at it, drive alongside it, on and on, the ocean becomes who you are, if you choose it.
It’s not just oceans, but the forest, the animals, wildlife, marine mammals, coastal and inland ecosystems. Nature needs our human help to recover from environmental devastation and human destruction.
For now, I start with the sea. I LOVE the ocean.
When you are a walker and walk as much in nature as I do, you see and feel things that maybe others who live in a city may not.
It is hard to walk by plastics and debris without feeling upset; it is. World wide problems like microbeads and styrofoam in pristine ocean waters. Plastic straws and water bottles, plastic forks and plastic picnic spoons strewn along the shoreline. Locally, debris from the shellfish industry; buckets to ropes, plastics that entagle seals and sea lions, causing distress and injury … it is hard to pretend it does not exist when it is in your face, in your neighbourhood.
It isn’t all bad, because this in part, the beauty, the fun and spirituality of living in close proximity to the ocean, is what makes me want to protect it even more; as a swimmer, I have been blessed to swim in some of the cleanest waters in Baynes Sound (Fanny Bay) and Lambert Channel (between Hornby Island and Denman Island), the Strait of Georgia, the Salish Sea. Most recently there has been a great return of humpback and orca whales to the area. Have their numbers increased? Well I am no expert and no scientist, so I will leave that to the experts. All I know is that they have been visible more than ever before on my time on the North Island. I hope I can see more of them and more often.
Most vacations I take are determined in part, whether there is an ocean I can swim and snorkel in and a beach to walk on.
I LOVE dolphins and our incredible many and varied sea mammals. This photo is of a dolphin that I photographed while on vacation in Mexico. Did I swim with the dolphins? Touch the dolphins? NO.
All I felt was sadness that these beautiful creatures were in concrete pens amongst millions of dollars of hotel guests for their viewing and tourism pleasure.
Although in 2009 I took dolphin photos to practice photography with a new Canon camera I had back then, however, I could not feel happy about what I was witnessing.
So back to my Vancouver Island and in the city, in addition to the ocean, when I walk urban areas and neighbourhoods on the Island where there is construction and development going on, it is after hours that you see the real truth. When the construction workers go home, the housing lots and culdesacs of the multi-million dollar homes they are working on, are covered in Gatorade plastic bottles and Tim Horton’s coffee cups.
Not good enough. Guys and gals, workers, pick them up.
I could go on and on but I won’t. All I can do is take action as one person who can do better.