UVic professor leads ocean walk

Monterey Recreation Centre hosts Move for Health Day event on Sunday

Dr. Diana E. Varela

Dr. Diana E. Varela

Residents can take a walk, and learn how each drop of ocean water helps keep you breathing.

Dr. Diana E. Varela, associate professor in the Department of Biology & School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, will lead a free community walk and talk for Move for Health Day on May 10.

Move for Health Day is an international event created in 2002 by the World Health Organization to promote physical activity. The B.C. Recreation and Parks Association, with support from Healthy Families B.C., leads our province in promoting this global event.

Oak Bay’s event starts with a talk on the importance of microscopic creatures called phytoplankton that are responsible for much of the oxygen we breath.

“The idea is to tell them the importance of these micro algae. These phytoplankton are producing about half of the oxygen we breathe,” Varela said. “I thought I would raise awareness about what importance they have on us and what importance they have in the marine environment … they’re the base of the food web.”

Similar to a plant, using photosynthesis they suck up CO2 and create oxygen.

“They’re far more important than anybody thinks,” she said. “Every drop of water has hundreds of thousands of them. They’re doing their thing every day.”

The free Ocean Talk and Walk is slated for Sunday, May 10 from 1 to 3 p.m. starting at Monterey Recreation Centre. Sign up at the reception desk, 1442 Monterey Ave.


cvanreeuwyk@oak baynews.com