Say No to Dumping in Marine Protected Areas

You wouldn’t swim in a pool of toilet water, contaminated grey water and toxic washwater from ship exhaust gas cleaning systems. Why should wildlife in our marine protected areas live in it?

Tell the Canadian government that dumping and marine protection don’t mix.

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Wildlife in our oceans need a break from being dumped on. Like national parks on land, Canada’s marine protected areas (MPAs) should be places where wildlife can take refuge and recover from the consequences of human activities.

Yet belugas, leatherback turtles, fish, seabirds, and other at-risk species in our protected ocean waters are still being threatened by harmful discharges and waste from cruise ships and commercial vessels. What’s more, heavy metals, microplastics and harmful viruses and bacteria from contaminated wastewater can make their way through the marine food web and into what we eat.

Will you tell the Canadian government to keep its promise and ensure “no dumping” in marine protected areas means no to ALL dumping?

Submitting this petition will trigger an email directly to your federal MP, the Prime Minister and other influential cabinet ministers, asking for a comprehensive definition of “no dumping” as part of their commitment to healthy marine wildlife and ecosystems, and the communities that rely on them.

© Scott Veirs, beamreach.org/Marine Photobank Southern Resident Killer Whale

Why hasn’t Canada dumped dumping?

While the federal government has declared new minimum standards that prohibit dumping in Canada’s MPAs, it has yet to define what counts as dumping, or how these standards will be implemented and enforced. Without a comprehensive definition, we risk protections that  are too weak to work as intended.

The rules around dumping in these ecologically sensitive areas cannot be left up to interpretation. To ensure Canada’s MPAs are protected in more than name only, “no dumping” needs to mean NO to the dumping of ALL sewage, grey water, garbage, scrubber effluent from exhaust systems, ballast water and oily mixtures.

We shouldn’t call an area “protected” if dumping from commercial and cruise ships is still allowed, in any quantity.