Celebrate World Ocean’s Day 2017 with Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada!

Working at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, I always forget how lucky I am to be able to immerse myself in the marine world.

Every day I get to hang out with stingrays, watch our giant pacific octopus paint and be mesmerized by a wall of jellyfish. But for most people living in the city, especially one as big and sprawling as Toronto, this underwater environment is considered a foreign place.

Being so far removed from our oceans, I shouldn’t be as surprised when a visiting student questioned why we should care about them and the animals that live there.

I wish I could say my response convinced that student to take care of our oceans. But alas, I was so taken aback when I responded to this question, I have no doubt my answer ended up being a rushed, hodge-podge of reasons.ripleys-aquarium-canada-rainbow-reef

So, to redeem myself and to help anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation, here is what I should have said to that student…

“Well friend, in many ways, our oceans can be considered the heart of our planet. They are responsible for circulating nutrients and transferring heat around our Earth. Our oceans drive our climate and weather systems allowing me to ski in the winter and sit on a beach in the summer. Oh ya! It also provides me with HALF THE OXYGEN I need to breathe. (Pause for effect.) Our oceans supply not only non-living resources, but also a wealth of living resources. The big blue is teeming with life, most of which is consumed by the human population (that’s us!). Here in Canada, we are fortunate to be connected to not one, but THREE oceans! With the world’s longest shoreline, it our responsibility to make sure Canada plays its part to protect one of the world’s most valuable resources.”

I know this student wasn’t the first to question the significance of our oceans, and may have even been voicing what many of our guests are thinking. But in celebrating World Ocean’s Day today, June 8, this incidence seems to replay in my mind. It is easy to take for granted something so fundamental to our life that even I had trouble concisely explaining the importance of our oceans.

Just like the oceans and their significance can be overwhelming to explain, so can the task of helping to keep our oceans healthy. If you don’t know what you can do to help, check out this list of ideas to help improve our lakes and oceans and celebrate World Ocean’s Day 2017.


Looking for a way to celebrate World Ocean’s Day? Join Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada as we clean up the Humber Marshes on June 11! For more information and to register, visit our website.

Have a question about the Aquarium, or something you would like to see on Deep Sea Diary? Email us at for the chance for your question to be featured in our monthly Q&A post!


Sarah is an Educator at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada with a passion for animals lacking a backbone. After spending six years on the West Coast, she moved back to Toronto to educate and excite people about the ocean environment. Sarah’s studies have led her to a career in Environmental Education in urban settings.

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