After a busy weekend of travelling, talking and bean bag tossing, I Georgia the Mermaid would like to reflect on my experiences at the BC Shellfish Festival in Comox and Car Free Day in Vancouver.
Cruising along the Island Highway, and basking in the early morning sunshine, my GSA companions Megan and Mikaela (M&M) talked through their upcoming weekend agenda. Sunscreen? Check. Information brochures on Green Boating and Salmon Farming? Double Check. Oh, and that beautiful blue mermaid Georgia? “Check!” I thought.
|Enjoying the sunshine with Megan
Photo by Mikaela Wilson
As Megan’s little Rav 4 pulled smoothly into Comox Marina Park (what an excellent driver she is) I was excited to see tents, tables and a gathering of people on the park’s grassy lawns –the beginnings of a day long festival! As I remember from past years, the Shellfish Festival in Comox always brings a hearty crowd, interested in sampling local oysters, salmon, and seafood sauces, but also eager to discuss environmental issues impacting the Georgia Strait. As I lounged in my lawn chair (M&M really do treat me lavishly) I heard them talk of GSA’s Green Boating and Clean Marine BC programs, responding to critical questions like “what is a more environmentally-friendly substitute to making docks from Styrofoam?” and “what are the top four ways I can improve my boating practices?” If you’re curious to learn more about such issues, I highly recommend perusing GSA’s website.
Then Shellfish Day wrapped up and I had some time to rest in Mikaela’s Jeep, but the girls were off early the next morning for Car Free Day in Vancouver. I must admit I was rather fatigued at this point, and nodded off more than once to dream of the mermen suitors and mysterious kelp forests from my past ocean abode. But I persevered, and was greeted with upbeat music, and intriguing smells of deep fried meats and Mars Bars (believe it or not) as the girls set-up their display on Commercial Drive. Hundreds of vendors and non-profit organizations lined the bustling street for some car-free, care-free fun. I watched as M&M played their Marine Matching bean bag toss game with dozens of people –young and old, all eager to get a sparkly fish sticker.
|Megan’s cousin Hilary meets the GSA crew
Photo by Mikaela Wilson
But what most impressed me most from this thriving festival was the interest passers-by showed in our Stewards of the Strait pledges, and our Rename Georgia Contest. M&M highlighted our Exploring the Shoreline pledge, which overviews simple guidelines all residents of the Georgia Strait should follow which enjoying our exquisite ocean environments. Tips like following marked paths, and always handling sealife gently with wet hands are important reminders –even for marine experts like myself.
In closing (it’s about time I rest before our next event at Bowen Farmers Market) I would like to remind you all that our Rename Georgia Contest is free to enter and running all summer (just e-mail us your entry, with your name and contact information!) Since 1990, my GSA family has graced me with a few new coats of paint (purple was my favourite, before becoming blue) but not yet a new name. We had some excellent entries this weekend –like Aquamarine, Marina and David, but I would appreciate further suggestions. Since my figure and hair-do still look stunning after all these years (I must say) it would be the cherry on top to have a more modern, youthful name.
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Georgia (as interpreted by Megan)