The Aros na Mara World Oceans Day Festival seeks to promote awareness, education and research of the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere in a way that is place-based, community-based, intellectually rigorous and fun. But for Bruce Hatcher, a research professor focused on strengthening capacities and impacts of oceanographic research and education, it is also a way to think globally by acting locally.
Bruce explains that the global ocean connects the continents and atmosphere in the planetary ecosystem and after a long period of relative stability (in which modern human society evolved), this system is now changing at an accelerating rate and society must now adapt. Because it is very difficult for any one person to act at the global scale, the Festival is a perfect example of community coming together for the ultimate purpose of action.
“World Ocean’s Day reminds us terrestrial mammals that our lives, and livelihoods depend on goods and services supplied by intact, healthy, functional marine and estuarine ecosystems,” says Hatcher. “Participation in events such as this one encourages us to learn how to behave in ways that maintain these goods and services for ourselves, and all the other life forms that share the ecosystems in which we live.”
Aros na Mara World Oceans Day Festival is actually the product of the 12 year partnership between the communities of the Barra Strait and Cape Breton University, aimed at developing a centrally-located facility for research and education.
Taking place from June 8-11, the Festival promises something for everyone and hopes to promote science and the environment to school-aged children, as well as the broader community.