lasting connections lead to better choices
Our engaging programs and exhibits showcase local aquatic life and raise awareness about how we can all play a part in our oceans health. Our engaging, knowledgeable staff interpreters and volunteers will inform and inspire you about the wonders of our local waters.
Sister to the Ucluelet Aquarium on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Centre is based on a tried and tested mini aquarium model that has been replicated across Canada in both Campbell River, BC, and in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland.
The Centre is developing offerings such as indoor and outdoor interpretive guided tours, animal feedings, children’s crafts and play learning, “aquarist for a day” program, dock side programs, curriculum-linked school programs, ocean monitoring programs, summer camps and young naturalists clubs. All programs will be rooted in the Ocean Literacy Framework adopted nationwide.
Key themes of future programs and exhibits include:
- Rare and Unique Organism & Features of the Sunshine Coast: World renowned glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound (recently added to Environment Canada's list of potential world heritage sites); Skookumchuck Narrows
- Biologically Significant Marine Habitats: The recovery of local eel grass beds which act as a nursery for countless juvenile fish and invertebrates; Herring Spawn sites
- Developing a Network of Like-Minded Marine Education Partners on the Sunshine Coast: Chapman Creek Hatchery, Pender Harbour Herring Spawn Program, Sunshine Coast Conservation Association
- From Stream to Sea: The Importance of Freshwater Management: Gibsons world-class drinking water (recipient of "Best in the World Municipal Water" award of 2005), in stream habitat restoration projects, etc.
Activities in support of our environmental purpose
Beyond educational activities, the Society will also conduct conservation projects that engage the Sunshine Coast community (youth and families, schools and residents) in protecting our delicate Howe Sound ecosystems.
The Society’s goal is to conduct at least three community-engagement projects every year. Our team will develop engaging community initiatives that foster an understanding of current issues facing Howe Sound, and promote better everyday choices needed to protect our marine ecosystems.
Projects will take place across the Sunshine Coast harbours and waters, on beaches and where we have salmon bearing streams require habitat rehabilitation.
Examples of projects may include:
- supporting herring populations by wrapping the creosote pilings of major wharf installations on the Coast to protect the eggs laid on the smooth surface of the pilings
- removing pollution from beaches and plastic from our waters to avoid the release of millions of tiny micro plastics from reaching the garbage patches and other areas of the ocean that threaten fish, seabirds and sea mammals
- educating boat owners of the ecological damage done by anchors and the importance of fixed moorage
- buoys to protect eelgrass beds (critical for herring production)
- monitoring salmon streams for healthy habitat and removing obstructions impeding the movement of fish