Nature Canada

Over 50 communities across Canada proclaim June 8 World Ocean Day

Nature Canada effort to mobilize municipalities in support of ocean protection yields big results


Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON June 8, 2022 – 53 municipal councils in Canada have proclaimed World Ocean Day. Communities from coast to coast to coast, including landlocked cities like Red Deer, AB, and Limerick, ON are signaling their support for Ocean conservation and marine protection by proclaiming World Ocean Day as an opportunity to think of our collective role in safeguarding Canada’s marine ecosystems.

“The response at this grassroots level has been phenomenal,” says Michaela Rutherford-Blouin, Nature Canada’s lead Ocean organizer. “We asked for cities to mark the day, to help send a message to all Canadians and all levels of government that our oceans are priceless and they need our help.”

The federal government has a commitment to protect 30 percent of Canada’s ocean territory by 2030 through new Marine Protected Areas and other conservation measures. Currently only about 14 percent of the ocean is protected. The municipal proclamations being announced today join thousands of Canadians who have raised their voices throughout the year to pressure the government on a range of ocean protection issues from the federal government’s stance on Deep Sea Mining to the overall Blue Economy Strategy and ensuring that ocean protection is given special attention in the government’s efforts to halt and reverse nature loss.

World Ocean Day is an international event calling on people and governments everywhere to celebrate and take action for our shared ocean. It highlights the importance of the ocean for climate, biodiversity and connecting people. Municipalities can be powerful change agents in the goal to protect 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030. We have seen this leadership in action in combating climate change, when cities and towns across the world stepped up to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and pressured federal governments to do the same. Whether on the coast or far inland, municipalities rely on ocean ecosystems for seafood production, climate regulation, and the preservation of unique and beautiful animals and ecosystems. Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change and feel effects firsthand, from extreme heat to extreme precipitation.

 The first Canadian community to proclaim World Ocean Day this year was Limerick, ON, a small town in Ontario about one hour outside Algonquin Provincial Park and hundreds of kilometres from any Canadian coastline.

“We love that Limerick stepped up first,” says Rutherford-Blouin. “It just goes to show that Canadians get it. Ocean health affects everyone. It affects climate, it provides more than half the oxygen we breathe. If the ocean is in crisis the whole world is in crisis and we all need to act together.”

The full list of municipalities who proclaimed World Ocean Day this year:

  • Peace River, AB
  • City of Red Deer, AB
  • Town of Wembley, AB
  • Colwood, BC
  • Ladysmith, BC
  • City of Burnaby, BC
  • District of Saanich, BC
  • City of New Westminster, BC
  • City of New Westminster, BC
  • City of Trail, BC 
  • Village of Belcarra, BC
  • Village of Salmo, BC
  • City of Vernon, BC
  • City of Richmond, BC
  • Village of Ashcroft, BC
  • City of Courtenay, BC
  • City of Port Albernie, BC
  • City of Armstrong, BC
  • Town of View Royal, BC
  • Port Coquitlam, BC
  • District of Metchosin, BC
  • City of Squamish, BC
  • Esquimalt, BC
  • Whistler, BC
  • Village of Albert, BC
  • North Vancouver, BC
  • R.M. of St. Andrews, MB
  • Town of Beausejour, MB
  • Town of Teulon, MB
  • Selkirk, MB
  • Town of Heart’s Delight-Islington, NL
  • City of St. Johns, NL
  • Town of St.Lawrence, NL
  • Town of Bay Bulls, NL
  • Town of Glovertown, NL
  • Town of Rocky Harbour, NL
  • Municipality of Resolute Bay, NU
  • Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, ON
  • Municipality of Dutton Dunwich, ON
  • City of Markham, ON
  • Township of Amaranth, ON
  • City of Orillia, ON
  • City of Quinte West, ON
  • Town of Limerick, ON
  • Municipality of Wawa, ON
  • Municipality of Mattice – Val Côté, ON
  • Dufferin County, ON
  • City of Port Colborne, ON
  • City of Niagara Falls, ON
  • Town of Bruce Mines, ON
  • Port Colborne, ON
  • Town of Grand Falls-Windsor, NL

Nature Canada is Canada’s voice for nature. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 130,000 members and supporters and more than 1,000 nature organizations.


For more information contact: 

Scott Mullenix

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