From hosting a World Ocean Day-themed radio show, a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) sunset paddle, a community beach cleanup, activities with pre-school and school-aged kids and families, the launch of our Oceans Resource Kit, and the amazing "trash" art reveal with a local artist and ocean enthusiast... our World Ocean Day celebrations ended up being a full WEEK of fun-filled activities!
You can check out all of events and resources on our website and bonus pics and info about each event on our social media accounts! Maybe you'll feel inspired to give some of these activities and events a try in your area, or perhaps you've got some ideas of your own to share with us. Feel free to drop us a line or comment!
Read on to see AHOI's World Ocean Day 2021 celebrations at a glance!
We kicked off the week with a couple fun contests! One is a Trash Bingo Challenge for all ages! The other is a Kids Art Contest! And GREAT NEWS!!! - the later has been extended! - The deadline for submissions is June 30!! Encourage your child to channel their creativity and love for the ocean! Send us their artwork, along with a message explaining why they love the ocean. Their name will be included for a chance to win these awesome prizes: A family picnic for 4 from Taste of Gros Morne and a beautiful children's book, "Octopuses are Neat" written by Kelani Stam, and illustrated by Steven Twigg.
AHOI also launched our FREE Ocean Resource Kit! It includes many great documentary, film, book and podcast recommendations, as well as facts and figures about seafood and the aquaculture industry. We've also included fun activities to help kids of all ages connect with the ocean, including colouring pages, crossword puzzles and word searches! These resources will remain available on our website for anyone to enjoy or to use as tools to connect with, and understand, ocean conservation all throughout the year.
Next we hosted a FriYAY Sunset SUP Tour with some fantastic local tourism businesses, Gros Morne Adventures and Gros Morne Outdoor Co! Unfortunately, the event was pushed to Saturday due to weather, but there was no less "YAY" to the day or event. While the weather on Saturday allowed us to get out, it was not the sunny sunset paddle everyone imagined... It turned out to be even better! We were met with a warm wind and rain showers halfway through the tour, and while everyone finished the paddle soaking wet, it did not take the smiles off their faces! And it's not hard to understand why when you look at the photos!
During the event, one of our summer students, Emily talked about her and Aaron’s job as the "AHOI Waste Busters" and why audits are so important for helping us target the most problematic plastics in our ocean! AHOI’s ED, Rebecca also spoke about the capelin fishery that was taking place that same evening, and explained how it is harming our oceans here at home. The evening was made brighter with a surprise gift from Gros Morne Outdoor Co and Gros Morne Adventures - they donated all the funds from the event to AHOI's ocean conservation program!! <3
Next up on the calendar was a radio show on Voice of Bonne Bay radio station. AHOI's own Emily helped everyone sail through Monday afternoon with her ocean inspired playlist! The AHOI World Oceans Day playlist contained songs for all listeners of all ages, with everything from “How Far I’ll Go” from the Moana Soundtrack to Magaritaville by Jimmy Buffet - there was an ocean inspired song for everyone. Emily’s personal favourite from the playlist is Harbour Boys by Joel Plaskett Emergency because it reminds her what summers are like living here in Bonne Bay.
The playlist can still be found on Spotify, and is linked on the website and our facebook page. Just because Ocean Week is over doesn't mean we have to stop celebrating - thanks for the grooves, Emily!
On World Oceans Day, June 8, AHOI partnered with the Treehouse Family Resource Center to throw a jam-packed celebration for pre-kindergarten-aged children! The event brought families together at the Old Cottage Hospital in Norris Point, NL where they celebrated their love for the ocean and learned ways to take care of it!
Jackie showed us all a fun, creative and useful way to help keep our oceans clean by diverting plastic waste at home into eco-bricks! Rather than throwing your thin-film plastic in the garbage where it could potentially end up in our ocean, making an eco brick is a fun way to repurpose plastic waste and build something unique with your community (check out ecobricks.org to learn more)! After getting our eco bricks started, we got to visit one of our favourite beaches, Wild Cove. There we got a surprise visit from Parka, our friend from Parks Canada, who joined us in reading Octopuses are NEAT, a fantastic illustrated book by Kelani Stam.
During our beach visit we found many plastic items along the coast that we wanted to reflect on. We heard from the AHOI WasteBusters, Emily and Aaron, as they pulled out their large collection of peculiar items found on the beach at Wild Cove. who knew so many shot gun shells, bottle caps, and lobster tags could come from one small section of beach!? Luckily enough we discovered some new solutions for keeping plastic out of our ocean. We learned how to get really crafty with local artist and ocean-enthusiast, Lori-lee Thomas, who took the lobster tags we collected from our previous community beach cleanup at wild cove and transformed them into a remarkable masterpiece!
This inspired a surge of creativity in the kids, who put together their own lobster crafts with the waste collected as well! Everyone was able to go home with their own upcycled art piece, an eco brick to build throughout the summer, and some new ideas to keep our oceans healthy by reducing our plastic footprint! Huge thanks to Sophie and Joan at the Old Cottage Hospital for providing a delicious lunch and the perfect space for hosting this event!!
We concluded the week with a community beach cleanup at Trout River here in the Gros Morne region. We teamed up with our partners at Parks Canada, as well as students and staff at Jakeman All-grade school. The beach clean up was a hit! All the classes from kindergarten to grade 6 joined us, along with other community members! Parks Canada staff member, Shawn Gerrow works closely with salmon restoration and taught us about the importance of Salmon in the river! The kids were very keen to learn more about what they could do to help the salmon in their river and enjoyed listening to Shawn talk about the important salmon restoration project happening in their area. Along with Shawn, Parks Canada’s beaver, Parka made a guest appearance and was loved by all the kids.
We had an amazing time celebrating World Ocean Day 2021 with so many passionate, interested, generous and creative people in our region. Thanks to all of the families, community members, businesses, organizations, and partners who made this such a wonderful week of caring for, and celebrating our ocean!
The AHOI Team