Aquarium Teaches Environmental Stewardship

There is a lot to do at the aquarium at Harbour Quay this month...staff hope to put the fun in learning.
Kristi Dobson

Staff at the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre are helping to make the local environment clean and sustainable and are out to share that enthusiasm with the public. The recently open Centre has been experiencing a busy summer season and there are still a lot of activities to take in down by the water.

The first happens tomorrow, Thursday, August 4, and focuses on the health of local streams. With the help of the RBC Blue Water grant acquired earlier this year, the aquarium is hosting a free water quality training session for anyone interested in determining the health of the streams flowing into the Alberni Inlet.

“It is open to the public so people can get a chance to participate in and learn about their backyard creeks and streams and places they love in the Valley,” said Sheena Falconer, Westcoast Aquatic executive director.

She said it is important to start local.

“We want to educate people on the streams and what makes them healthy and unhealthy,” Falconer said. “We have had a lot of interest so it is great to see the public support.”

Tomorrow’s session is the first, but the series will run through October. Participants will learn to take different measurements of the streams using various kinds of equipment and will be led by industry experts, Dave Clough and Erica Blake.

For kids who love the outdoors and learning about the environment, the Centre is also offering summer camps this month. Open to 6 to ten-year-olds, families can choose between half-day ($15.00), full-day ($25.00) and week-long ($125.00) camps that will include science-based activities, crafts and stories.

“It will be hands-on and they will learn about nature and have a chance to feed the animals,” Falconer said. “This is great for any kids interested in science and biology. They will have the chance to get close and personal with the aquarium.”

Outside the aquarium, the camps will also let participants explore creeks and take forest walks.

There are still spots left for both events, but space is limited. For more information, check out