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Discovery Passage Aquarium seeks grants to expand operations

Campbell River’s aquarium is hoping to expand its operations and programming.

The Discovery Passage Aquarium has applied for two grants.

A B.C. Community Gaming Funds grant would help with protecting intertidal marine life – especially at Willow Point Reef.

Manager Ricky Belanger says they are already seeing the effects on the intertidal marine life from the “increasing enthusiasm” of visitors.

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“Some instances where rocks have been turned without being properly placed back in their original position or animals being displaced or litter on the beach as well,” Belanger told Vista Radio.

The campaign would include guided tours, fliers and brochures specifically geared to Willow Point Reef.

A PromoScience grant would allow them to expand programming over the winter as well summer marine biology camps.

“Where children are going to be attending different programs over several weeks in the Explorer Lab and on occasion visiting certain locations around Campbell River to view, for instance, the salmon run, potentially the herring spawn and of course our regular visits to the Willow Point Reef,” Belanger said.

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PromoScience grants are geared to agencies promoting youth entering STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math).

The grant would also create a full-time position for Shawna Eggleston – the aquarium’s education and stewardship coordinator. She has been with the aquarium since May.

The aquarium should have an answer on its grant applications in November.

The Discovery Passage Aquarium has been open since 2013.

Campbell River city council agreed this month to pen letters of support for the grant applications.

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