From sightseer to supporter in the Bay of Fundy
My first experience as a sightseer on the Bay of Fundy was nothing short of memorable. That is, it was memorable for everyone else because I, a three-year-old, slept through an entire whale watching cruise. From this, you might not expect that I’ve grown up to be an annual visitor to the Bay and, perhaps more unexpected, an ocean scientist. Getting back to the Bay each year reminds me why I do what I do, and why it is so important that sightseers like you take in the sweet and salty air of my favourite place in New Brunswick.
The Bay of Fundy is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America, so it’s not surprising that the region draws in tens of thousands of visitors each year! Whether you want to get out on the water or walk the seafloor, this attraction offers something for everyone. On the other hand, it might be surprising to you that this economically and environmentally important ecosystem has very little protection from unsustainable development and emerging threats. That’s why CPAWS-NB is encouraging the federal government to speed up action on marine protected areas, and to include the Bay of Fundy in that action.
Between new schools, new jobs, and new homes, I’ve returned to the Bay each year to watch the wildlife, as a tourist and as a guide on a whale watching vessel. What you didn’t know is that I’ve also been watching you, visitors and tourists, as you experience this place, this second home of mine, for the first time. What I’ve learned is that there is no end to the awe and amazement of people experiencing the Bay first-hand. When people feel (and smell) the blow of a whale, watch a shimmering school of herring, or see the sunning harbour seals, they understand something about the Bay: it is a special place, and a place that should remain special for all of us to enjoy.
When I first smelled that stinky whale breath, I made an important transition: I went from sightseer to supporter.
When I learned that this place that was shaping my career (and my person) wasn’t properly protected, I took to action. Now, I don’t mean that you should all drop everything to go back to school in the name of the Bay. What I mean is, you have a voice as a sightseer, and a unique experience to share.
Like me, maybe you’ve visited the Bay of Fundy each summer, feeling the sun and sand of a warm beach, enjoying the buttery seafood landed by local fisherfolk, or experiencing that unforgiving tangle of hair after a salty boat ride. Like me, you might feel inspired to take to action for the Bay. As a sightseer, a tourist, or a local, CPAWS is asking the public to strengthen our collective voice in asking the federal government to protect our oceans.
Protecting the Bay of Fundy should be a no-brainer, and CPAWS-NB hopes to see official marine protected areas out there sooner rather than later. Speaking up for the Bay is easy! Learn more about marine protected areas in the Bay of Fundy, visit: www.protectbayoffundy.ca
Haven’t had a chance to visit the Bay of Fundy yet? Plan your next Fundy adventure with the guidance of the Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership.