Pacific Ocean, BC - Miranda Black
I grew up on Lake Ontario, hardly ever visiting the beach or cottage country or doing water sports. But when I came into my 20s life changed, and suddenly I spent every waking hour that I could in water. I taught myself to sea kayak, snorkel, dive. And this was no lake, it was in the Pacific Ocean that I finally found a feeling of home. Maybe its the buoyancy of salt water in comparison to fresh water. But in the summer time I would lay in the midst of the pacific ocean and small waves to lapse on top of my body. I wouldn't call myself a good swimmer -- not in the least. But I would call myself a good relaxer. There was something trustworthy in the relationship I had with the ocean -- even in her roughest state.
Living beside the Pacific Ocean was regular in my life for many years. Harvesting shellfish (mussels, clams, oysters) and crab, were norms in the west coast diet. And often, I would harvest seaweed to dry for nori. The seaweed that collected on shore would go on top of my garden. But since the Fukashima disaster in 2011 I wouldn't suggest any of that. Since 2013 there have been a loss of invertebrates. Starfish, where hundreds would paste themselves, are now bare rock. And anemones that collect in puddles in the rocks along the shoreline, now are vacant. And health conscious locals no longer eat their diet of shellfish and nori -- Nova Scotia nori died and pressed, packaged in plastic, is the way to go.
I now live in Toronto for school and work. I visit the west coast of Canada, Tofino and Cortes Island, as much as possible. And this year I spent time in Hawaii. The list of sacred water-bodies keeps growing and so do the many activist projects to protect and clean up these spots for future generations.