Pacific Ocean, BC - Cora Schouten

My Watermark is the Pacific Ocean.

Okay, I get it. You're probably thinking that the Pacific Ocean is too large and obvious to take any sort of claim of it as my personal watermark, but hear me out.

I didn't grow up on the west coast. I never had that intimate connection with rivers, beautiful waterfalls and hotsprings, or even the sandy beaches that so many Vancouverites have the luxury of exploring everyday. Even after I moved here at eighteen, it seems my closest relationship with water was watching it pour outside my window for days and days and days on end...

It's not that I didn't care about where our water came from or the critters that exist within it. I just wasn't connected to water.

Despite being disconnected from water, I've always been very much connected to the environment as a whole. Of course, water is a large piece of the environmental puzzle, if you will. One day when I was sitting in my environmental science class, we looked specifically at - you guessed it - the Pacific Ocean.

I've always known that there's tonnes of garbage floating around the ocean and that our careless species is constantly polluting this beautiful planet. I've seen the documentaries where the turtle gets caught in a plastic ring from a case of soda cans, and the odd boot that gets fished out of a lake. But when I was sitting in this environmental science class and I learned that there's a mass of garbage TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS just floating around the ocean, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is an inexcusable tragedy. For me, it was a wake-up call. Not only for the Pacific Ocean, but for all of lakes and rivers and streams that make their way back to the ocean. The Pacific Ocean is my watermark because it is a reminder of the responsibility that we have to protect all waters.

The Earth has given us everything. She's given us the air we breathe, the soil we cultivate, and the waters we drink and swim in. It is our responsibility to take care of her. We owe her everything.

Pacific Ocean, BC
Fraser Riverkeeper
Charly Caproff
Cora Schouten

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