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Rainbow Schools take the Polar Bear Challenge

In recognition of International Polar Bear Day on Thursday, February 27, 2020, Rainbow District School Board invites staff and students to take the Polar Bear Challenge and do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the National Species at Risk Act, Canada considers polar bears a species of special concern. In fact, polar bears are listed as threatened under the endangered species legislation in Ontario.

Habitat loss and reduced access to seal prey due to climate change are the primary concerns. Scientists predict that as the Arctic continues to warm, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear within this century. Rapid loss of sea ice is the most significant threat to the polar bear’s long-term survival.

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere act like a blanket that keeps the earth warm. This protective blanket helps make our planet habitable. Over the past 200 years, however, humans have greatly increased the level of greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels like oil and coal. This is like throwing on a second blanket, causing temperatures to rise.

“For the Polar Bear Challenge, students will explore the connection between greenhouse gas emissions and melting sea ice, and how they each pose a threat to the polar bear species,” said Director of Education Norm Blaseg. “Schools can reduce emissions by turning down the thermostat, powering-off electronics, or hosting a Polar Bear Walk to raise awareness.”

Rainbow District School Board’s Environmental Committee issues monthly challenges to staff and students throughout the school year.

Last month, students ate pulses and shared recipes for the hearty, low-cost food source.

What will next month’s challenge be?

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Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171, ext. 7217.