Despite the rain, the 2014 Bella Coola World Oceans Day celebration was a great success! The fantastic face painting by Leah Moody meant we had lots of sharks, whales, octopi and other sea creatures wandering the site, where games and a fishing derby added to the fun of learning about the different animals found in the ocean and how important the Bella Coola estuary is and has been for the community.
Many were surprised to hear that over 70 percent of our oxygen is produced by the Ocean and that estuaries are one of the most productive habitats in the world. The aquarium and touch tank pool gave everyone a first-hand look at critters collected by volunteer divers and seine netting at the boat ramp (yes, the boat ramp!) and nearby beaches.
Congratulations to Finn and Elsie Carlson who won the fishing derby with their prize catches of Starry Flounder but alas, there were no “pirates” who completed the scavenger hunt. The theme of “together we have the power to protect the ocean” was truly embodied by the great number of enthusiastic volunteers who participated in this year’s event.
Special thanks goes to Leah Moody for the face painting, Janice Kyle for providing an opportunity for folks to experience kayaking, Donna and Paul Grace-Campbell, Rene Morton and Harvey Thommasen for leading our educational estuary tour and to Garrett Newkirk for providing harbour tours throughout the day.
Thanks to everyone else who volunteered (and there were many) and to Tom and Crystal at our harbor for their support and assistance! Your hard work truly made the day a success.