Three youngsters, who represent the voice of Toronto/Mississauga at 2020 Ocean Bridge program, have designed a project that brings together science and humanities for the cause of conservation

As Canada celebrates Ocean Week 2020, Toronto and Mississauga are becoming part of the conservation conversation through youngsters Christina Gregoire, Jilian Barnett, and Caitlin Laidlaw. They are among the 160 young people selected for the 2020 Ocean Bridge program. The event aims to rally together youngsters between the age of 18-30 from across the country’s diverse landscapes including the landlocked towns, northern communities, and coastal cities for the cause of preserving oceanic ecosystems. 

Jilian, Caitlin, and Christina are garnering attention for their pandemic-time project named Tales for Gaia. The chief aim of the collective is to bring together science and creativity for a common cause. “Scientists are often criticized for poor communication skills. Tales For Gaia aims to challenge this belief. We demonstrate how science and storytelling can work together to create powerful messages of ocean literacy and conservation while providing credible information with creative tales,” informs the website. 

The backgrounds of the trio also stand testimony to the strength and diversity of the endeavour. Caitlin is pursuing her Masters at the University of Waterloo researching snow leopard-human conflict in the Nepal Himalayas. Christina is a graduate in photography, and an ardent traveler while Jilian holds a BSc in Environmental Science and a post-graduation in Environmental Technology.

The project is a part of this trio’s involvement with Ocean Bridge, which includes a year of activity including working with the local community through the lens of ocean and waterway conservation. The website of Tales for Gaia currently features a few thought-provoking and insightful comics, photographs, artworks, creative writing, and Do-It-Yourself projects people can take up. The nascent project has also left the doors for collaboration open so that anyone who has a passion for ocean literacy and conservation can join their efforts.