An ecology society based on the North Coast is looking for a venue and members after forming in the spring.
The North Coast Ecology Centre Society (NCECS) is made up of teachers from the Northwest Community College, conservation officers, members of the Vancouver Aquarium outpost in Prince Rupert, BC Parks, members from the Prince Rupert Port Authority and other professionals.
Conservation Officer Gareth Scrivner, a member of the newly-formed society, said their common goal is to create a venue in Prince Rupert to showcase the area’s natural environment. Prince Rupert’s history as a fishing community, as well as its proximity to wildlife ecosystems in the ocean and on land make it a prime location for an exhibit. They currently have the educational materials and displays they plan to use — they just need a place to put it all.
“It doesn’t focus just on the ocean or the land,” Scrivner said, “but the interconnection between the two ecosystems in their own right.”
Ideally, said Scrivner, there would be a permanent venue to house an interactive exhibit, perhaps an aquarium where people could touch molluscs. NCECS has looked at similar models in southern B.C., such as the Vancouver Aquarium and Nanaimo’s seasonal exhibit.
“There’s a fair amount of eco-tourism that goes on up and down the coast,” Scrivner said. “I think Prince Rupert could really cash in on that.”
The conservation officer said last year’s designation of the Great Bear Rainforest — and the international attention it received — is what inspired him to take part in the new society. He’s studied wildlife information about coastal grizzlies and wolves, calling them “incredible and unique” from their relatives in the interior.
NCECS is still in its early stages, and is putting a call out to interested people to join. Meetings are bimonthly, and held at the Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert. Anyone interested can contact Amanda Beckett by email: ABeckett@nwcc.bc.ca.