Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, centre, walks along Parksville’s boardwalk with Communities Protecting Our Coast member Lois Eaton, left, and Courtenay-Alberni NDP MLA Gord Johns, right. Johns will be hosting an event for World Oceans Day at Parksville Community Park beach June 8. — NEWS file photo

People invited to clean up Parksville beach

Courtenay-Alberni MP hosting World Oceans Day

Leaders from eight B.C. environmental organizations will join Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns to celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8 at Parksville Community Park beach.

The celebration will include a beach clean-up, a public discussion with environmental experts, and fun activities for children.

“World Oceans Day is about celebrating the important role that oceans have in our everyday lives,” said Johns. “Coming together as a community to clean up our beach is a mutual act of respect for the waters that give us life.”

World Oceans Day has been celebrated each year on June 8 since 1992, according to a news release from Johns, when it was proposed by Canadian delegates at the Earth Summit, a UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This year the UN is focused on actions that will prevent plastic pollution and create solutions for a healthy ocean.

“All around the world, countries are moving towards banning single-use plastics because of the threat it poses to our natural environment,” said Johns. “It’s time Canada joins in the fight to combat plastic pollution.”

According to the news release, Johns has spoken in the House of Commons almost forty times about the harm that plastics and other marine litter cause to the world’s oceans. His parliamentary motion (M-151) for a national strategy to address the issue has been supported by many environmentalists, municipal governments, Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, and other prominent Canadians.

The World Oceans Day celebration is June 8 at Parksville Community Park beach. At 10 a.m., participants will be invited to remove marine litter from the beach under the guidance of experts from Ocean Legacy Foundation. Then at 11 a.m., there will be a public discussion with Johns and environmental leaders giving updates on initiatives to protect the marine environment by community groups on Vancouver Island and elsewhere in B.C.

Throughout the morning, there will be hands-on children’s activities about the marine environment; and, displays by environmental groups.

The participating environmental organizations include Communities Protecting Our Coast, Ucluelet Aquarium, Ocean Legacy, Surfrider Vancouver Island, Surfrider Pacific Rim, West Coast Aquatic, Denman Island Marine Stewards, Clayoquot Clean Up, T buck Suzuki and Oceanwise.

— Office of Gord Johns

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