Despite receiving the event proposal at the last minute, District of Sechelt councillors have agreed to partner with the Sunshine Coast Conservation Society (SCCA) in celebrating World Oceans Day during the week of June 5-10.
The SCCA’s proposal, presented to the May 10 meeting of the finance, culture and economic development committee, was to coordinate two activities: shoreline cleanups through the week in partnership with other groups such as schools; and a public Oceans Day Festival on Saturday, June 10.
Councillor Doug Wright expressed concerned that organizers would have less than a month to plan the event. “I support the idea, but I see the timeline is really short to pull it all together,” said Wright.
“It certainly was our concern coming into the project at this time,” said SCCA Program Manager Naomi Fleshhut. She argued that the proposal was doable because it was small in scale, built on activities already happening on the coast, and took advantage of volunteer effort from existing community organizations. She said the SCCA had already done a lot of the groundwork for the event.
“We’re ready to hit the ground running basically tomorrow.”
World Oceans Day, June 5, has been officially recognized by the United Nations since 2008. The event has not been officially celebrated in Sechelt before, but councillors expressed enthusiasm for a pilot event in 2017 that could be expanded in future. Councilor Noel Muller called it an opportunity to highlight Sechelt’s “best features.”
“It has a lot of potential,” said Muller. “Every neighbourhood in this district has a waterfront and we should celebrate that.”
Sechelt has over 33 kilometres of ocean shoreline, and 51 public beach accesses.
The June 10 festival will be held on the Trail Bay waterfront near downtown. Plans call for a family-oriented afternoon of ocean-themed activities and games. Participants will get an Oceans Day passport, and collect stamps by participating in activities such as “whale tail identification” and “make art not waste”.
Groups or individuals who would like to have a booth at the festival or be a sponsor, prize donor or volunteer should contact the District of Sechelt at (604) 885-1986. Information is posted at www.sechelt.ca.
Schools and community members who would like to join the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup during the week of June 4-10 should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.