The Vancouver Aquarium North Coast Initiative, a pilot program to bring aquatic research, conservation and education programs to British Columbia’s booming northwest, will be extended, thanks to support from BG Canada.
“Northern B.C. is an incredible region,” said Caitlin Birdsall, coordinator of Vancouver Aquarium’s North Coast Initiative.
“We’re on the edge of a vast coastline, surrounded by temperate rainforest, sharing our environment with an abundance of wildlife. It’s also the focus of national and international economic interest, and it’s growing quickly. It made sense for us to establish an office here.”
In 2014, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre launched the North Coast Initiative to expand its cetacean research in the region. The initiative encourages citizen science through the Aquarium’s BC Cetacean Sightings Network, and provides science-focused marine education to communities and youth throughout the Northwest. The success of the program, interest in the North Coast, and renewed funding from BG Canada have all allowed the program to expand and continue for a second year.
“We’ve heard from the local community that protecting the environment is important,” said Simon Nish, vice-president of sustainability for BG Canada.
“It is to us too … What we hope to achieve is a richer discussion in the local community about protecting the ocean environment and that, through more exposure to ocean sciences, young people will have more career choices.”