Everyone knows the four essential needs of life, Air to breath, Water to drink, Food to nourish and Sleep to rejuvenate. Missing just one of these crucial needs, will result in your death. While we know the air we breath must be clean, are we doing enough to keep it that way?
The same applies to water, not only do we need clean, clear water to sustain us, but the crops we grow also rely on water. Water is everywhere – oceans, seas, rivers, lakes and streams. We use it to cook, bathe, drink and water our garden and maintain our crops. It is said about 71% of the earths surface is covered by water and the oceans hold about 96% percent of it all.
We are often told Canada has some 20% of the worlds freshwater resources. However only around 7% of the global supply is renewable. Healthy waters matter, and Canada is home to thousands of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands.
These abundant bodies of water enable us to grow our food, power our homes, sustain our environment, as well as supplying us with the water we drink. Therefore it is essential we do our best to keep them clean.
Canada is also home to 3 oceans, the Atlantic ocean on the east, the Pacific ocean on the west and the Arctic ocean to the north. But what is Canada doing to ensure these large bodies of water are clean and healthy?
Well first lets start with the fact that Canada is home to the worlds longest coastline so it comes as no surprise that Canada supports some of the most abundant and diverse marine life on earth. Thousands of different species of fish and invertebrates and hundreds of marine birds and mammals live throughout Canada’s ocean environment.
But all is not well, the pressure on our ocean resources continues to grows with the demand for shipping, fishing and tourism. In the last century we have witnessed the loss of Atlantic cod on the east coast and the loss of basking sharks and many salmon on the Pacific coast, as well as many other species like rock fish and marine birds are at an historically low number.
Changes under the surface are also happening but while they are not easy to see are still taking place, and the quality of our coastal and marine environment is eroding.
So what is the liberal government doing to combat some of these changes? They have made a commitment to invest in the protection of our oceans, the health of which is critical. Their plan will help fish stocks recover, support Eco- tourism, protect our coastlines from erosion, ensure ecological integrity and protect the species at risk.
Their plan is to restore Canada’s reputation as a leader in ocean science, strengthen our laws and regulations, and give communities more of a say in the management of our oceans. By 2020 the liberal government hopes to meet this commitment and sustain clean and healthy oceans.