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Reply To: Plenary Four: Blurring the Boundaries – understanding, valuing the Ocean

Noémie Roy

Thanks to everyone for your great questions, comments, and interactions! I feel very luck to have participated in such a dynamic summit.

I would like to answer the following question: Any tips on communicating the ways the ocean is connected to land and human well being to park visitors, which can sometimes feel a ‘science heavy’ topic to try and educate the public on? Especially for people who don’t have access to a personal connection to the ocean?

I grew up inland in Gatineau and I often face the same challenge myself when trying to express the importance of the ocean to the people around me. You can encourage visitors to think about ways they connect to the ocean beyond science, including history, arts, sports, industry, food, etc.

– Where do they come from? How did their ancestors travel on the land? In a canoe, you can reach the ocean from virtually anywhere in Canada.
– What type of seafood do they enjoy to eat? Where does it come from?
– Where are their belongings from? Were they transported by ship?
– If you close your eyes and think of a waterfall, or the waves crashing on the beach, how does that make you feel?
– Can they think of a piece of art that they like that contains a representation of water? Why is water so often present in arts? Why is it so important to us?

You can also talk about inland seas that used to cover a large part of Canada and how we can still see signs of this today. For instance, a beluga subfossil was found in St-Félix de Valois, QC, an area that is very far from the sea today but that once covered by the Champlain sea.

I hope this help!