Visitors of all ages will forever remember the roughness of the sea star, the squirt of the sea cucumber and the spikes of the urchin.
The Centre will create meaningful opportunities for visitors to explore their relationship to complex ocean webs of life, particularly the marine food web. The Centre will be located in the heart of the Gibsons Public Market, a unique setting that will strengthen the link between marine life and food choices.
The Centre will offer a distinctive Sunshine Coast experience, delighting visitors with local marine animals found from Gibsons to Egmont. As part of a “catch and release” program, small sea creatures from Howe Sound will be on exhibit for a few months at a time in aquariums and will then be released to their natural habitat.
Some of these animals, such as the prehistoric glass sponge, are found only in the Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound. This rare animal was once thought to be extinct only to be rediscovered off the Sunshine Coast a few years ago. The happy survival news of these reefs made international headlines and attracted researchers from all over the world to the Sunshine Coast. This is a strong reminder that we have much to be proud of, and so much more to learn.
Locating the Centre in a community hub where people gather daily to enjoy and learn about locally harvested food, we can reinforce the connections between our day-to-day choices and the health of the oceans we depend on.
The Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre Committee continues to develop this innovative vision into a feasible project consistent and integrated with the values of the broader community hub. For more information, please contact us.