The Ocean Ambassadors: Paddling Towards a Cleaner Future

It’s easy to take for granted the grandeur of our oceans that we’re so accustomed to in the Pacific North-West. Alison Wood, co-founder of Ocean Ambassadors, has made it her year-round mission to educate and instill a love for our ocean in the next generation.

Out on a paddleboard with the snow-capped North Shore as a backdrop, it's easy to feel the gravity of what’s at stake. With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, coastal productivity is gravely threatened by single-use consumption culture. Without an appreciation for everything the ocean gives us, it’s all too easy to dismiss the impact of pollution on aquatic and terrestrial systems. The ecology of the ocean is vast, and, for the most part, invisible – at least to us. Microplastics (particles of larger plastics broken down by waves, sun, and wind) now contaminate every ocean and nearly every watershed. It is crucial to address the use of plastics at its source.

Not only is Ocean Ambassadors Canada a leading educator on ocean health and protection, but they’ve also been an essential partner in our East of Seymour Initiative – alongside the community’s conscientious restaurants and cafes – on the mission of reducing plastic consumption. In partnership with Vancity, Ocean Ambassadors Canada has been instrumental in supporting plastic reduction initiatives such as The Last Straw Deep Cover, Edgemont Village Plastic Bag Free, Horseshoe Bay Beyond Plastic Bags, and free Zero-waste Coaching for small businesses on the North Shore.

We are proud to have celebrated our partnership with Ocean Ambassadors Canada at the launch of East of Seymour; one of the first community-wide container sharing systems in Canada. Celebrated warmheartedly by residents protected from rivets of rain under tents filled with food, drinks, and live music on the October 16th event - and an overwhelmingly positive response - reminds us of the silver lining in our plight; the vibrancy and mountain-moving energy of the zero-waste community.

Climate change dread is existential and bottomless. Or, at least it can be when you tackle it alone. But partnering with organizations like Ocean Ambassadors Canada to find exciting and innovative community-based solutions reminds us that we’re all in this together and that there’s much to celebrate on our journey to provide elevated solutions to single-use norms.

The zero-waste community is growing, and we’d love you to take part. For more information on Ocean Ambassadors Canada’s programs and initiatives please visit their website at To read more about Reusables, our missions, or to get in contact with us about a launch in your community please see


Credit: Maggie Durkin