Wednesday, July 11, 2012

National Marine Conservation Area - You can help.

Sidney, BC, July 7, 2012: We don’t have gold coins or bedazzled crowns hiding in our waters but the colours in the Salish Sea far outshine any pirate’s treasure chest, and Canadians should be anxious to protect this precious resource. The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre's new exhibit “Local Jewel, National Treasure” focuses on the making of a National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) in the Salish Sea. Canada lags behind other nations in creating marine conservation areas with only 2 in existence, compared to 41 national parks and national park reserves. Parks Canada and the Province of BC have embarked on the process of creating a third around Southern Vancouver Island. “It’s an exciting prospect for everyone associated with the Salish Sea and especially here in Sidney which is centrally located in the proposed marine conservation area” says Tina Kelly, the Centre’s Visitor Experience Director, “It’s an important project that requires vision and the support of a nation, As Sidney’s award-winning aquarium of the Salish Sea we have a special role in establishing a shared vision and addressing competing interest associated with the NMCA”. The timing for the exhibit was calculated to reach Canadians from coast to coast “The summer is the perfect time to launch this exhibit, we have visitors from all over Canada and this is so much more than a local issue.” Says Kelly. “Canadians need to take ownership of our oceans. If we don’t, who will? It’s a conversation we need to approach at a local and national level. “ The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre will advance the conversation by presenting new hands-on activities, a special display from Parks Canada, and intimate underwater views of the proposed NMCA through the aquariums live exhibits. “Almost everybody has been on the ferry through Active Pass,” says Angus Matthews, Executive Director “But have you stopped to think about the landscape below the water? We’re going to pin point high profile, key habitat locations within the proposed conservation area and show you what that looks like and why it matters.” You can check out the booty beneath the Salish Sea starting July 11th.
We toured the new exhibit today and it was very educational and inspiring.  We learned a lot and certainly found out how we and you can help protect this amazing jewel we have.  To see more pictures and learn more about how to help, please visit our Facebook Page.  You can also learn more at the Shaw Ocean Discover Centre web page. 

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