The aquaculture industry is growing worldwide and Vancouver Island is getting a reputation for its excellence in the field thanks to the innovative work being conducted in Baynes Sound.
Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Shellfish Research Deep Bay Marine Field Station, located in the southern end of Baynes Sound, is a state of the art research centre performing a multi-faceted role in the community.
The local research station is making a name for itself for its innovation in support of sustainable shellfish aquaculture development and preservation of coastal ecosystems.
When it was constructed, sustainable building design technology and practices were used, including LEED certification.
Clustering scientific, environmental, economic and public engagement programming into one facility it serves as a model of how various coastal and marine activities can co-exist harmoniously.
An economic engine for revitalizing coastal and First Nations communities the unique concept integrates the traditional roles of field stations within a comprehensive framework of green energy design and demonstration.
The type of work being conducted at the centre fits right in with the mandate of The Nature Trust of BC. And because VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station relies on the generosity of donors and support from the community, The Nature Trust of BC will be hosting an event at the station on Saturday, Dec. 3.
The fundraiser for conservation in Baynes Sound will run from 4 to 8 p.m. and includes a tour of the new facility, reception, seafood buffet, live music, guest speakers such as Art Martell and a live auction. Each table will feature a unique centerpiece which is a shellfish feeding station.
Tim Clermont of The Nature Trust said the new facility in Deep Bay is a perfect place to gather and support the conservation work going on in Baynes Sound.
He said that back in 1980 The Nature Trust of BC acquired five properties in the area and he points out the area is a key habitat area in the province.
“It is the second highest area in B.C. providing important habitat area for migratory shore birds.
“We want to bring awareness to the importance of the wildlife management area in Baynes Sound and hopefully make sure that upstream logging and the proposed mine are done in a way that will not impact critical habitat area,” stated Clermont.
He said the research centre is a place to bring together the those involved in conservation, business and recreation and preserve quality of life we all enjoy in this region.
“If we stimulate the idea of more conservation of water ways and estuaries it will help fish and wildlife and the state of the art center a focal point for this.”
With it’s green energy design and touch tanks, he said the education centre is a world class facility that the community has an opportunity to support it by attending the fundraiser.
The station located at 370 Crome Point Road in Deep Bay will be festively decorated and students from the VIU chef program will be putting together some gourmet seafood dishes. There will also be beer, wine and desserts.
Tickets for the event on Dec. 3 called “Shell”ebrate the Season are $50 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling toll free 1-866-288-7878, ext. 222.