By Intern Angelica Rosa
So last Sunday Cetus Society sent me to Sydney, Australia to conduct an outreach event. Just kidding! Instead of touring around downtown Sydney, we headed 30 minutes north to Sidney, BC to participate in World Oceans Day outside the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Although the sun did not shine and a cold wind began to scatter our brochures, we remained stationed outside, educating the public from 11 to 3pm. Our setup looked fantastic! We had our tables decorated with brochures and replicas of various sea creatures such as a sperm whale tooth and even an orca skull which the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre generously allowed us to borrow for the event. These amazing replicas drew a great deal of attention from our curious visitors. I was particularly surprised myself to gaze upon the large skull of a Leatherback Sea Turtle as I had no idea that they were purposeful visitors to these waters where they feed upon the bounty of jellies. Children of all ages really enjoyed putting together our orca calf jigsaw puzzle as well as coloring cut-out Humpback Whales. Many expressed their delight at the whale fluke matching game and learned the importance of being able to track the health of individual whales over long periods of time. Quite a few visitors had very entertaining stories to tell of the antics whales seem to do such as heading straight for and diving underneath peoples boats! It was a great opportunity to remind these boaters of the Be Whale Wise Guidelines and express to them the importance of keeping their distance and giving these magnificent creatures a respectful amount of space. Although we all want to be as close to the whales as possible, we must remember that the oceans have become a very noisy place and whales rely heavily on sound in order to communicate and find food. By giving them their space we can aid in their conservation and make sure that generations to come will be able to experience the thrill of seeing them in the waters we both call home; the Salish Sea.
Cetus 2012 Interns Gabrielle Macklin and Angelica Rosa
As the day drew to a close, I got the chance to tour the Ocean Discovery Centre myself, and was mesmerized by the rainbows of color from various fishes, anemones, and other sea life. It was truly a fun day and I definitely plan to head back to the Centre to spend many more hours staring in awe at the beautiful jellies (yes I am definitely a marine life nerd).
Thank you Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre for allowing us to participate in this Oceans Day Event!