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Chronicling the Adventures of an Oceanbridge Ambassador

Hi! I'm Jocelyn, and for as long as I can remember I've been in love with the ocean. You could say I'm the human equivalent of a golden retriever; and with that comes a natural pull towards any body of water. As a kid, I was always the first one in, and the last one out- fingers and toes wrinkled, sunburnt, but so content I got to spend a day swimming or letting curiosity get the best of me as I looked under rocks and shells along the beaches for hours on end.

My first memory of gaining an appreciation of marine ecosystems was at my aunt and uncle's cabin at Wabamun Lake on the traditional territory of the Plains Cree, Tsuu T'ina, Métis, and Cree First Nations in Alberta. I remember one time I took a jar and collected some lake water and I could see these teeny tiny organisms swimming in the water- I've never actually figured out what they were, but it really is the moment I realized how diverse marine ecosystems can be.

Fast forward to today- I've been living in BC since 2013, and my appreciation for marine life and surrounding waters grows everyday. I always appreciated the outdoors, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and we were all in lockdown, the only thing I could do to ensure my mental health quite literally stayed afloat was to get outside and walk around my local Quay or lake. Like many, the pandemic really made me realize how important conserving local ecosystems is. This is what made me want to be apart of the Ocean Bridge Ambassador Program. Years ago, my sister sent me a link to the application for the program but I was too scared to apply, but this year as soon as I saw applications were open, I spent a day attempting my version of a 'Draw My Life' video depicting why I should be chosen for the program, and well... here we are!

The program itself runs from May 2021-March 2022, and it looks like it's going to be a jam-packed year full of really going below the surface in regards to conversations surrounding ocean conservation and how we can be involved in that conversation. I leave for my first 10-day learning journey next week (so excited!) which includes staying on Gambier Island and a boat known as 'The Providence' which was built in 1903. I will definitely be documenting my experiences during this journey. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity I'm getting to do, and I am fully prepared to dive right into it. Along with the discussions and learning journey's online, we are to do 1-2 hours per week of Action or Service hours- I just finished my mentorship call and although I'm still thinking of what I can do for my Action Project(s) I am thinking I may focus on what I know best and that's Veterinary Medicine! I'd like to see how we can reduce plastic waste within my practice and maybe think outside the box when it comes to reducing our plastic use. It's still in the beginning stages but we can see where the plastic reduction road takes us!

Anyways, I think that's all for now. I wanted to start a blog to keep a memory of this whole adventure, and I hope to maybe reach a few people and get the ball rolling on how we can all be involved in ocean conservation on a day to day basis within our own lives.

Remember to always Love Our Oceans,

Jocelyn :)

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