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salis h sea news "everyday citizens were encouraged to nominate someone who was working hard to improve the health or increase awareness of our ocean ecosystem"

Heroes, Ocean Heroes!

He-ro [heer-oh]

noun, plural he-roes 1. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal. The word hero often conjures up images of tights, capes and a letter – such as by Tina Kelly S – emblazoned across the chest. Do Ocean Heroes don neoprene, fins and the initial O? At the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, we set out to find the answer with our inaugural Ocean Heroes contest. Everyday citizens were encouraged to nominate someone they knew who was working hard to improve the health, or increase awareness, of our ocean ecosystem through conservation, advocacy or education efforts. With the submission deadline over, our Visitor Experience Committee took it to a vote and chose two outstanding individuals: Catriona Dempsey and Peter Mieras. Jeff Hilton, a teacher at Parkland Secondary School, nominated 17-year-old Catriona Dempsey for our youth category. Catriona was not only motivated academically: for the last four years, she has been actively engaged with a research and outreach program focused on ocean currents – the Driftbottle Project. Working alongside a physical oceanographer at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Catriona prepped 500 bottles – donated by a local brewery – to be used as driftbottles, and presented the project and concept of ocean currents to students at Sidney Elementary. If that wasn't enough to earn her the Ocean Hero title, Catriona was also a member of the Parkland Green Team responsible for processing data from local beach clean-ups. Catriona is geared to study science at UVic this Fall. Nominations flooded in for Peter Mieras, the winner for our adult category; one nominator noted when it comes to ocean conservation,

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Peter projects the "enthusiasm of an underwater evangelist." As the owner/operator of Rendezvous Dive Adventures in Barkley Sound, Peter leads and educates hundreds of divers on the wonders of the sea. Peter's attachment to the ocean doesn't stop at running a business: he actively participates in research projects with data collection on lingcod egg masses, rockfish and reefs and, along with Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark, started a citizen science diver initiative to monitor six-gill shark populations. In a collection of a different type, Peter removes derelict fishing gear/nets (and wrote a manual about the process) and has freed whales from entanglement as part of the Marine Mammal Response Network. Peter Mieras and Catriona Dempsey, in our opinion, have heroic qualities and should be regarded as models for others. And who knows, maybe after this they'll even add an "O" to the chest of their drysuits! Stand by for 2014's Ocean Hero contest and consider nominating someone you know! *Thank you to Odgen Point Dive Centre for the prize donation for our youth category. Images: Peter Mieras courtesy of Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark, Catriona Dempsey courtesy of winner. Tina Kelly is an Ocean Advocate at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Visit www.oceandiscovery.ca for more information. hanging baskets • planters • perennials annuals • herbs • small trees • pottery

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Seaside Magazine September 2013 Issue  
Seaside Magazine September 2013 Issue  

Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’...