Open house at VIU Deep Bay Marine Station

Admission is free and staff will be there for information

Fishy fun will be taking place at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Deep Bay Marine Field Station at a Kids’ Day Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 22.

“This is one of our key events during the Brant Wildlife Festival,” says Field Station Manager Brian Kingzett.

“Activities will include a colouring contest, face painting, arts and crafts, bird banding demonstrations and more — all designed to teach kids about marine science and wildlife.”

Admission is free and staff will be available to answer questions and introduce visitors to the amazing marine life. Visitors will be delighted with the wide assortment of sea creatures inside touch tanks and a large public aquaria inside the Station, including 20 new Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers, which arrived from the Vancouver Aquarium in January.

“It’s not often you find a fish so cute that you want to squeeze it but the Lumpsuckers are that adorable,” says Stephanie Richards, facility coordinator at the Field Station.

Besides Kids Day Open House, families and kids will want to check out spring break camps this week and next week at the Field Station.

The Station is also hosting an on-going film and speaker series until April 24. An upcoming talk on Thursday, March 20 at 7 pm by Bill Merilees is entitled “Penguins of the Antarctic:  Cute as a Button – Tough as Nails.”

Merilees is an ex-Australian Antarctic Field Biologist responsible for documenting the life history of the Royal Penguin, Wandering Albatross and Southern Elephant Seal, during a 13 month residence at Macquarie Island.

He later became an Antarctic cruise ship lecturer on the “World Discoverer” making 17 trips to the Antarctic Continent via the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

In his talk, he’ll give a light-hearted presentation on the life and challenges of penguins. Doors open at 6 p.m. and visitors are encouraged to arrive early to check out the aquariums and touch tanks inside the Field Station, and enjoy gourmet snacks and treats for purchase, prepared by VIU Culinary Arts students. Tickets for the film and speaker event ($10 each) are available at the Field Station.

— Submitted By VIU