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Marine Education Centre to have phased opening

P 3 marine centre pic 5

A pair of pint-sized fish fans get a peek at the aquariums in the Gibsons Public Market marine centre Sept. 2. The centre will have a grand public opening in the new year. Donna McMahon photo

There was a strong turnout at the Gibsons Public Market on Saturday, Sept. 2 for an open house showcasing the new Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre. It was a little-advertised four-hour beginning to the centre’s “phased opening.”

Coordinator of the Marine Centre, Graham Starsage, said the centre will start opening on the weekend this fall, but does not plan to be fully operational until after Christmas.

At the moment 16 tanks are up and running with more scheduled to be filled as they arrive and the collection team locates and gathers sea life. The tanks will feature indigenous sea life found in the region from Howe Sound to Sechelt Inlet, with informational signage.

At present the tanks’ occupants include sea stars, sea cucumbers, pipefish, sculpins, anemones, flat fish, crabs, and local varieties of sea weed. Creatures collected and displayed will be returned to the wild after a year on display.

Public Market president Pam Robertson says the marine centre is a good fit with the public market’s mandate to support local food. “We want to show the connections to food in terms of sustainability.”

The marine centre, which was scheduled to open in June, will now have a grand public opening in early 2018.

The Public Market is seeking for donors and volunteers to participate in the Marine Centre. For details call 604-886-8814 or

Donna McMahon

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