Taking Action Against Ocean Waste

HALIFAX, NS – March 3, 2021 Discovery Centre and Divert NS have teamed up to inspire environmental change-makers of all ages in a new exhibit titled Divert NS Ocean Action Zone now open at the Discovery Centre on the Halifax waterfront.

As the agency responsible for promoting waste diversion and reduction in Nova Scotia, Divert NS works in partnership with a variety of organizations with the goal of breaking the habit of single-use products, and encouraging Nova Scotians to consider refusing, reducing, and reusing before recycling or landfilling.

“The Divert NS Ocean Action Zone is a great opportunity to raise awareness about plastic waste and the impact we have on our ocean,” says Jeff MacCallum, CEO of Divert NS. “We believe it is important to educate and engage with youth on this issue, and what better place to do that than the Discovery Centre.”

The Divert NS Ocean Action Zone has a permanent home inside Discovery Centre’s Murphy Ocean Gallery which opened in 2018 with help from the J&W Murphy Foundation. This exhibit equips visitors with an understanding and appreciation of the importance of the ocean and its contributing watersheds to all Nova Scotians, with a focus on the impact of human behaviour on the health of our aquatic environment.

“This new exhibit is the result of a great partnership with Divert NS. It directly aligns with our goal to inform families in fun ways about the impacts human behaviour can have on our precious waterways and one of Nova Scotia’s greatest assets,” says Dov Bercovici, President & CEO of Discovery Centre.

With the look and feel of a working research lab, visitors approaching the new exhibit will start by exploring samples of waste found during a recent local shoreline clean-up to understand and appreciate what happens to each type of waste once it enters the ocean. As visitors explore further, they take a deeper dive into the story of plastics within our oceans learning about their long lifespan and their impact on Nova Scotia marine life.

There are several local community heroes featured in the exhibit including local environmentalist Stella Bowles, whose grade six science project led to $15.7 million in government funding to clean up the LaHave River near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

“I’m honoured to be featured in Discovery Centre’s new exhibit and hope it will show other young people that they can also make a difference,” says Bowles. “The [LaHave River Clean-up] project was a success for our community because it wasn’t just a project I did alone, it was a project that the whole community took on. And hopefully by 2023 we can jump right in the water,” shares Bowles.

Discovery Centre and Divert NS are hoping to inspire other young people to feel empowered to take action in their communities. The visitor experience in the Divert NS Ocean Action Zone ends with a call to action to motivate visitors to change behaviours to reduce the waste that is making its way into our oceans.

The Divert NS Ocean Action Zone is just one example of how Divert NS has been instrumental in creating a culture of recycling and refusing to waste province-wide – a culture that it continues to enhance and grow. The Discovery Centre shares this goal with a commitment to not only create awareness, but to inspire the kinds of actions that will create the necessary change to protect our environment.

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