Elan Downey of the Centre for Aquatic Sciences

Celebrate our ocean

Oceans Day 2013 is almost here, and is being celebrated in a big way

Oceans Day 2013 is almost here, and is being celebrated in a big way.

Discovery Passage Aquarium, located at the pier, is taking the opportunity to have its grand opening on Oceans Day, a community event being held on Saturday, June 8 and runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the pier parking lot.

Elan Downey, a marine biologist at the BC Centre for Aquatic Sciences (CAHS), has been part of the organizational team for Oceans Day at the Centre for Aquatic Sciences that includes Tina McMurdo and Debbie Collins.

She explained that the centre took over the organization of Oceans Day when it learned that DFO would no longer have a full time community advisor to take on the event.

The team’s fundraising efforts have ensured that everyone can come and enjoy a day of free entertainment and activities.

Downey is also involved with the aquarium and sees it as a wonderful educational opportunity.

“With the Aquarium,” she says, “we can bring to the surface what divers see down below.”

She also sees Oceans Day as educational, as it reminds the public of how the ocean at our doorstep is so intrinsically tied into our lives as people who live in a coastal community.

“The ocean is so much more than just the animals that inhabit it,” Downey says. “We depend on the ocean both above and below.”

Along with the aquarium opening Nick Templeman, a veteran wildlife tour guide of 14 years will be introducing his new business on Oceans Day – Campbell River Whale and Bear Watching Excursions, and will offer free short boat trips from the pier over to Quadra Island.

As well, Discovery Marine Safaris will be holding a grand opening at its new location next to Beaver Aquatics.

Excellent entertainment is planned with CR Dance Extreme on the main stage in the morning followed by musicians Justine Collins and Jim Chisholm, then Pacific Ukes to wrap up the day.

A favourite free activity is being offered at the pier – fishing rod rental fees will be waived during the event.

Kid oriented activities include face painting by Magical Faces and free puppet shows put on by the Museum at Campbell River’s summer students.

And while you are there, don’t forget to visit the exhibit ‘What Lies Beneath’ inside the Maritime Heritage Centre, and take in a ‘Taste of Asia’.

There will be lots to see, do, hear and taste at this year’s Oceans Day at the pier.  For further information contact the Centre for Aquatic Sciences at 250-286-6102.