Letter: We must take better care of our oceans

For too long the oceans have been used as a dumping ground by one species: humans!

Dear editor,

Our Mother Earth is a blue planet because of ocean waters. For too long the oceans have been used as a dumping ground for garbage, for nuclear testing, for effluent and other toxic actions by one species: humans! Canada has the longest coast line of any country. We could be world leaders in how we regulate private ownership; marine park designation, search and rescue for all species at risk and restoration of damaged shorelines. We have a long journey to paddle before we reach that goal.

Canadians love the oceans that surround them. Being home to the world’s longest coastline comes with great responsibility. Climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and industrial pressures make this a critical moment in human history. That’s why I urge you to put your promises into full force and make ocean protection a priority for your government.

Here is an abbreviated list of policy recommendations, which can be found in more detail in the David Suzuki Foundation report “Charting coastal currents: Canada’s Pacific communities talk climate, culture, oceans and the future”.

• Implement ecosystem-based management in Canada’s oceans and fully protect 10 per cent of marine area by 2020

• Restore without delay habitat protections that were lost in the Fisheries Act and then engage Canadians in improving the act

• Offer wild salmon greater protection by implementing all of Justice Cohen’s recommendations and Wild Salmon Policy strategies

• Require improved health monitoring, disease reporting and data transparency for open net-pen finfish aquaculture

• Establish a north coast tanker ban on the West Coast, as promised during the election campaign

The complexity of ocean ecosystems and coastal communities requires thorough and comprehensive planning and policy. Please take the steps necessary to keep our oceans healthy now and for our children and grandchildren.

Betty Donaldson

Courtenay

Just Posted

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Mount Washington

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Comox Archives and Museum makes presentation to d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre

At its June board meeting, Comox Archives and Museum board presented an… Continue reading

Annual Denman Island pancake breakfast coming up

Local fundraiser supports many initiatives

VIDEO: Miners Memorial graveside ceremony

For 34 years, the Cumberland Museum and Archives has presented Miners Memorial,… Continue reading

Having a day in the park

A temporary transmitting station is set up in Filberg Park in Comox… Continue reading

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Most Read