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Project Details

Project dates
01/04/2023  – 31/07/2024
Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island

Jesse Gruneau

Project Lead

Whales & Waves seeks to empower marine stewardship amongst coastal communities by sharing educational resources and online media content.

Project Description

Whales & Waves is a non-profit initiative run in partnership with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and through support from Ocean Wise, Marine Education & Research Society, and Strawberry Isle Marine Research.

This volunteer lead project aims to address a gap in knowledge around marine mammal regulations and best practices on the coast of BC. By implementing signage on docks in the region, and by advocating for animal health and boater safety at local events, Whales & Waves seeks to empower coastal citizens to use knowledge and education as a means of marine stewardship. The project will also develop a host of online resources to continue to help educate on marine stewardship and how people can get involved. The project has received funding support from the Ocean Wise Eco-Action Accelerator Program.

Additionally, this project has been created in commemoration of the lives of all the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, including two Ocean Bridge ambassadors, Danielle Moore and Micah Messent. We aspire to carry on their legacy and commitment to making the world a better place by creating long-lasting impacts with a firm commitment to driving positive change for the environment and our ocean. We will never forget the light that Danielle and Micah brought to the world and will continue to keep them in our hearts. To learn more about these two amazing people, please visit: Honouring Danielle and Micah – Ocean Wise. This work is partially funded by the Commemoration Fund for Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy.

What was your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge was the workload and difficulties in balancing my job, free time and errands with the project planning and event logistics. Some days were 12 hours or more, and I barely had any support for those events. Moving forward, it would be good to try to secure more help for the big events, especially as it would help manage large crowds who wanted to purchase items and get info all the same time. Funding was also an issue, and in the future it might be good to secure more funding from an earlier stage.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

I’m confident that this project has encouraged me to keep pushing in a direction that helps my community, advocates for our planet’s ecosystems and allows me to continue a journey of growth and learning. I really saw first hand how each and every one of us can make a big difference, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. In terms of learning, I definitely came to appreciate the length of time everything takes to plan, and for people to get back to you with scheduling etc. Things often didn’t become finalized until the last minute, and it’s always good to plan for cancellations or for people being unable to assist.

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