From blobfish and plankton, to bats and berries. Join the Stanley Park Ecology Society and Ocean Wise for a journey from the depths of the ocean to tree tops in a virtual nature program engaging youth on local habitats and how to get involved to help protect them. We will explore nature around us through art, activities, short presentations, Q&A and more. What challenges do these ecosystems face? How can we use community science to make a difference? Find out on our journey through nature from home!
Each day, participants will
be given an optional activity to do on their own in the afternoon.
There will be an optional session in the afternoon to come back and
share what you did.
Do you have a promo code?
Follow these quick steps to access your discount
1. From the main page click “select a date”
2. Click on “tickets” from the date menu
3. You will see in small print at the top of the ticket menu “enter promo code”
email [email protected] with any questions
Welcome to our Ocean Depths to Tree Tops Nature Program community page. This is a space for you to share and explore!
From blobfish and plankton, to bats and berries. Join the Stanley Park Ecology Society and Ocean Wise for a journey from the depths of the ocean to tree tops in a virtual summer camp engaging youth on local habitats and how to get involved to help protect them. We will explore nature around us through art, activities, short presentations, Q&A and more. What challenges do these ecosystems face? How can we use community science to make a difference? Find out on our journey through nature from home!
Join for single days or the whole week! Each day, participants will be given an optional activity to do on their own in the afternoon. There will be an optional session in the afternoon to come back and share what you did, or if you are participating the whole week, you can share in the break-out session the following day.
Dates: August 17-21, 2020
Day 1 – Sea to Sky
Day 2 – Hidden Worlds
Day 3 – Apex Predators
Day 4 – Where Water Meets Land
Day 5 – Helping Our Habitats
9:30 -11:30 am -
Welcome, Group Sharing, short solo activity, learning sessions from SPES and Ocean Wise, and an introduction into an optional activity to do in the afternoon!
11:30 am - 12:00 pm -
Optional Q&A session
12:00 - 2:15 pm -
Lunch and optional activity time
2:15 pm -
Optional sharing session for single day participants
It has been an amazing summer of AquaCamps but it's time for your campers to head back to school! Here are some back-to-school green hacks to consider as you get ready for the new school year!
Did you know that members of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal care team are currently on deck at the Alaska SeaLife Center assisting with the intensive care of a rescued male beluga calf?!
The calf was rescued on September 30th after he was found stranded and struggling near Trading Bay in Western Cook Inlet. He was brought to the Alaska SeaLife Center for 24-hour critical care. He was estimated to be between 2-4 weeks old, and is a part of the endangered Cook inlet beluga whale population, which consists of about 340 individuals.
Experts from the Vancouver Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, and Sea World are all working in shifts around the clock to provide 24 hour intensive care to the orphaned calf. He is fighting to get better, and has become strong enough to latch onto a bottle to feed! Rescued newborn cetaceans have a very low chance of survival, usually 10%, but our teams are working hard with the singular goal of trying to save this young beluga's life. Follow the Vancouver Aquarium Facebook page and AquaBlog to stay updated!
This week on ocean.org we explore super kelp - from storm protection to nutritious snack, we could all use a kelping hand: https://ocean.org/stories/kelp/
1. New episodes of Ocean Kitchen! Sustainable and delicious, Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell cooks with kelp, learn how to make:
2. Learn more about kelp (not just a superfood, it's a superhero)
3. Good for your skin too, learn how to make a DIY kelp facemask
4. Riding the Kelp Highway - Pacific kelp forests might have helped people the Americas
This week on ocean.org we explore why sea ice matters.
Photo: Daisy Gilardini
- Melting sea ice isn't just a problem for polar bears — it's impacting the entire planet.
Photo: Daisy Gilardini
- Science, Meet Tradition - How youth are bridging the gap between scientific and traditional knowledge in a changing Arctic.
- The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere on earth. What does this mean for Inuit today? Changing Climate and Culture
- Under the Ice - A rare glimpse of beautiful Arctic animals found beneath the sea ice.
This week on ocean.org we are showcasing some amazing ocean champions who are exploring, protecting, and inspiring change.
- Jill Heinerth: Cave-Diving Explorer. More people have visited the moon than some of the places Jill Heinerth has dived
- Chloe Dubois: Ocean Plastic Preacher. Ocean Legacy's Chloe Dubois is serious about cleaning our coasts.
- Lizzie Carr: Paddling For The Planet. Lizzie Carr kicked cancer's butt then quit her corporate job to pick up garbage.
- Kathy Heise: Tracing the Call. Marine biologist Kathy Heise has devoted decades to understanding how whales and dolphins use sound.
- Jenice Yu: Supplying Sustainable. Jenice Yu has been in the fishing industry since she was a girl. Now she owns her own sustainable seafood supply business, sourcing the finest Ocean Wise seafood caught by Canadian fishermen.
- Rachel Schoeler: Great Lengths. Rachel Schoeler swam the Straight of Georgia to raise awareness about water pollution.
New this week on AquaBlog:
Founded in 2016, the BC Biodiversity Wild Postcard Project aims to increase awareness of biodiversity through artwork competitions for kids & teens in locations across the world. The winning artworks are converted into postcards, allowing local biodiversity – as depicted by artistically inclined youth – to be shared to all corners of the globe.
BC Biodiversity wants to get people around the world talking about biodiversity – the animals, plants, and bacteria that comprise life on Earth. And that’s why they need you! They need your artwork – whether it’s a painting, collage, drawing, etching…they want you to somehow showcase biodiversity of the place where you live.
They are calling on talented kids and teens (ages 5-18) to make artwork depicting your local biodiversity. At each of their competition locations (in 2018, the Philippines and Ireland), a judging panel will select the top 10 artworks, which will turn into postcards. They are hopeful that these postcards – posted to destinations across the world – will raise awareness of the fantastic creatures and plants we’ve got here on Earth.
‘Blue Tit Collage’ by Jennifer Wilson (Age 13), ‘Paraisong Pilipino’ by Dianne Yvie Capunong (Age 14)
1. WHO: The competition is open to kids and teens (ages 5-18) who are currently living in British Columbia.
2. WHAT: Your artwork (whether you paint, draw, etch, screen print, etc.) must represent the biodiversity of BC in some way. Please also complete and include the competition entry form (found here).
3. WHEN: Postmarked no later than 1 March 2018.
4. WHERE: Entries can be sent to:
Wild Postcard Project
c/o Dr. Angela Stevenson
Biodiversity Research Centre, UBC
2212 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Grizzly Bear (Photo by: Princess Lodges, Flickr), Muskrat (Photo: S. J. Coates, Flickr)
Hard copies are preferred, but if necessary you can submit via email (take a photo with your iPhone, iPad, any option works!). Just make sure to hold on to the original copy of your artwork in case you’re selected as a winner and we need to do a fancy photoshoot of it – and because we may the original for printing purposes. [email protected]
Oysters are a popular food around the holiday season—especially for New Year’s Eve celebrations. Learn more about how this sustainably farmed Ocean Wise recommended shellfish makes the journey from tide to table in our latest Ocean Kitchen episode with Ocean Wise Executive Chef Ned Bell.
- Farming Sustainable Oysters. They're delicious, but where do sustainable oysters come from? Ocean Wise chef Ned Bell finds out.
- Mythbusters: What is Sustainable Seafood? Confused by wild versus farmed? Get the seafood facts here.
- Be Seafood Smart. Keep our oceans healthy and flourishing: always make sustainable choices.
Here at Ocean Wise we are celebrating International Women's Day all week long. Meet the Ocean Wise scientists making waves.
Ruby and the Octopus
Biologist Ruby Banwait has a special connection with the octopus under her care.
From Buenos Aires to the Arctic Circle, science has taken Valeria Vergara on quite the journey.
Growing up in Kuwait an oil spill disaster inspired Dalal Al-Abdulrazzak to protect the ocean.
Chelsea Ryan is at home with her flock of feathered friends.
The DNA Detective
Big whales, big problems, but Carla Crossman is up to the task.
Donna Gibbs is her name. Tracking species is her game.
Rhiannon Moore's career in science began with a walk on the beach.
Discover more about Ocean Wise, and what we do.
This month, I pledge to #BePlasticWise by reducing my single use plastics when I clean house.Count the number of plastic containers full of household cleaners in your cupboards. Whoa! Imagine if you lived in Pond Inlet, Nunavut, where such cleaners are much harder to dispose of responsibly. Shelly Elverum, program lead of Ocean Wise's Ikaarvik: Barriers to Bridges Arctic youth program, talks about reducing her single-use plastic.
Use What You Trust!
Think about switching to natural cleaning agents. If they were praised by your great-grandparents, why not check 'em out? Stock up on baking soda for stains, squeeze lemon juice for bleaching, and scrub on distilled white vinegar to eliminate lime scale. You're probably going to prefer the smell of this stuff to those of the chemical cleaners. Plus making your own products reduces plastic waste!
Join the Weddell Sea Expedition! This pioneering Antarctic expedition has been underway since the beginning of January and sending us updates all the way from the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. Visit the Weddell Sea Expedition’s Journey Page to explore what we have learned so far and see video conferences with members of the expedition team and crew. If this sparks your interest, find out more at explore.reachtheworld.org and email [email protected] to sign up to virtually join over 200 classrooms across the world who are participating in this exciting expedition!
We only have three club themes left this year, and they are the best ones yet! If you are 7-13, join this awesome program to dive into a series of adventures to gain a better understanding of our aquatic planet, the technological innovation in Aquarium research and what we need to do to better protect our oceans.
Our clubs run the first three Saturdays of every month from 9:30am-12pm. Our first and second session are for children ages 7-10, and the third is for children ages 11-13.
April 6th, 13th and 20th - Migration Mission
Take on an adventure countless animals do each season: a migration. Follow the tracks of a leatherback sea turtle or a humpback whale with our massive Migration Map, in which we will see step by step how far those of the animal kingdom venture.
May 4th, 11th and 18th - Fishing to Dishing
Come join us as we dish it about the fishing industry! We're serving sustainability while playing with our food to learn about where the fish on our plates comes from. Analyze a fish before it's been neatly packaged with a fish dissection.
June 1st, 8th and 15th - Frogs Forever?
Take a hop into the lifecycle of a frog and have a glimpse with your bulging frog eyes at the ecosystem they call home. Get an insiders look at what initiatives the biologists at Ocean Wise are doing to protect frogs.
Join us as we celebrate one of the cutest animals in BC! The sea otter!
Sea otters are mammals found naturally along the BC coast, usually inhabiting kelp forest regions. Not only are they the cutest animals out there, but they are so important to maintaining the expansive biodiversity in BC!
Have you seen the otters here at the aquarium? If you have, you’ve definitely seen a few signature otter behaviours. One is the face rub. These grooming behaviours are not only the most adorable activity, but they’re vital to otters. While other marine mammals like seals rely on blubber, otters only have fur. They have the most dense fur actually! Sea otters have incredibly dense coats, with more than 100,000 hairs per square centimeter! For reference, most humans have about 100,000 on their whole heads. By scrubbing their fur, they are cleaning it and maintaining insulation. There are air bubbles trapped in the fur that keep the otters warm in cold BC waters.
Fun fact. Baby sea otters have more air trapped in their fur relative to older otters. Meaning babies are much more buoyant, making diving harder. Like how this baby demonstrates!
You may also have seen sea otters in person or on videos playing with toys. Not only are sea otters naturally curious, but the toys are given as enrichment. Since otters eat shellfish, they need ways to crack those hard outer shells. To do this, they will actually use tools! They use rocks and hard objects to smash and break open the shelled animals. Otters also have favourite rocks, and will keep them in their armpit pockets! Watch this otter hide her favourite toy from a curious observer.
Sea otters are famous for another behaviour - they hold hands with each other! This behaviour is not only the cutest thing out there, but it’s another important behaviour for otters. Holding hands is called rafting. Out in the ocean, when otters are all trying to sleep or rest, they don’t want to get swept away by the ocean waves. So they all hold hands and raft together. It could just be two otters, but it could be many of them, forming mega-rafts!
Besides holding hands, otter mums have another way to keep their babies in one place. When mum goes to find food, she will use kelp as a little seat belt to hold her baby! Otter mums are excellent parents. They devote tons of energy into the care of their pups. From grooming to snuggles, a lot of care goes into the care for the pup.
However, anything can happen in nature. This may result in a sea otter pup being orphaned. While sad, this is where rescuers from all around North America will step in to help. Our own Marine Mammal Rescue team has gone all around to help rescue and rehabilitate orphaned sea otter pups. You may recognize Hardy or Rialto. They both were rescued as orphaned pups, but have now grown up well thanks to the loving care from MMR. Now, we have a new addition to our otter family, Tazlina! Taz was found abandoned at just one day old. She received 24 care from the best animal care staff from the Alaska SeaLife Centre and Ocean Wise’s marine mammal team. Find out more about her rescue and care here!
Tazlina is already capturing our hearts with her cuteness and her story. Come visit Taz with the whole family during sea otter awareness week!
The United Nations is launching the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021. We are inviting the ingenious children of Canada to think up and draw invention ideas to protect the oceans. Get involved now!
The oceans cover more than 70% of our planet, and they are essential to all life on Earth. But overpopulation and industrialization have taken their toll. Starting now, we can start building a better future for our oceans, with science, invention and innovation at the heart of it all. The more we understand our oceans, the better we can learn to look after them and get them back to health.
A selection of invention ideas will be chosen to be made real to be showcased during Science Odyssey in 2021.
How to enter!
Mission: Protect our oceans is open to all elementary and secondary school students across Canada and is recommended to up to grade 9 students or ages 14-15 years.
Teachers and parents can also submit the young inventors’ ideas, you don't have to be a school to take part!
Entries must be submitted by midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, December 20, 2020.
Submissions will be accepted throughout the year, however, we recommend uploading the invention ideas as soon as possible after your workshop. The most ingenious ideas will be selected for making. and those students will be paired with a maker or artisan to produce their ideas. The winners will be announced in time to celebrate Science Odyssey in May 2021.
Children can submit more than one invention idea.
Submit invention ideas through our upload page.
The ocean is our planet’s life support system. It is the provider of food, recreation, transport and even the oxygen we breathe – and to lose this is too big a cost. Join us in protecting our oceans: http://support.ocean.org/turnthetide
Out in the water, down in the blue
Where the waves meet the shore, where the boats fish for food,
Where the seals have their play time, and where the fish learn to fly.
This is your ocean, and it's starting to die
The waters are bloated, afloat on each tide,
The bottles that don't hold a message inside.
Once full of dreams of an old pirates chest,
now full of treasure, that never digests.
Who will protect it, the creatures defend?
Be a port in the storm, an ally, a friend.
Discover it's secrets. Rescue the lost,
And remind us to lose this is too big a cost
Show them the creatures, tell all the tales,
From the tiniest plankton to the mightiest whale.
This is your ocean. This is the blue.
Listen, can you hear it? It's calling to you.
About this Event
Come enjoy a day of fun science and maker activities. Included is a repair cafe so bring out your broken appliances, torn clothing and anything else you would like fixed. The event will include shows by Science World at 11:00 and 2:30. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/science-and-maker-jamboree-tickets-89707669053?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Featuring: Science World, Genome BC, Vancouver Public Library, Metro Vancouver, Ocean Wise, Shoreline Cleanup, Pacific Museum of Earth, SFU Forensic Entomology, SCWIST, Repair Cafe, Geering Up, Vancouver Hack Space, Free Geek, Open Science Network
Organizer of Science and Maker Jamboree
Open Science Network organizes STEM outreach programs to allow kids of all ages to enjoy the wonders of STEM
*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
Check us out at opensciencenet.org
Britannia Community Centre, Gym D
1661 Napier Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 4X4
To help parents manage the new reality of weeks at home with the kids, Ocean Wise Conservation Association has launched a free online ocean literacy resource called Online Oceans, bringing ocean-inspired crafts, activities, DIY videos, livestreamed learning, and more, to families around the world.
Created by Ocean Wise educators, together with animal experts from the Vancouver Aquarium, these captivating resources are designed for kids and youth of all ages to learn the how and why of caring for the ocean, and all the animals in it.
With activities and offerings broken down by age group, a highlight of Online Oceans is the livestreamed learning sessions on topics including: Ocean Plastics, Sharks! and Arctic Adaptations. Livestreams take place multiple times each week and are free to join from the comfort of your own laptop.
Looking for something even more personal and engaging for your family? Why not sign up for a Virtual AquaClass? These personalized sessions allow your kids to meet online with an Ocean Wise educator to dive deeper into learning topics like “Careers in Conservation” or “Reptiles and Amphibians”. Normally reserved for schools – this program is being opened to individual families during school closures. Virtual AquaClasses cost $45 for a 45-minute session, and multiple families can split the cost to take part in a single session, each from their own home computer.
Teachers are also welcome to make use of Online Oceans, too, and will find that many of the resources are curriculum based and perfect to incorporate into their distance education offerings.
Highlights from Online Oceans:
*Content is updated regularly, so check back often.
- · Feed your little piranhas at the Recipe Corner
- · Plastic free glitter and tinted lip balm DIY video tutorials
- · Livestreamed programs on topics like Ocean Plastics and Sharks
- · Links to Vancouver Aquarium live animal web cams
- · Feed the Shark Craft and Animal Colouring Pages
- · Virtual AquaClasses for teens and older kids, privately, or in small groups
- · Curriculum-based Complete Education Kits
Follow @OceanWiseEdu on Twitter for more updates!
Wet Lab Biologists Talk: All about Artemia (brine shrimp)
Join us behind the scenes at the Vancouver Aquarium and in our Wet Lab to discover what the animals and biologists are working on. Tamara will be introducing Artemia (sea monkeys!), how we grow them, what eats them, how they help us and how we help them in our aquatic classroom.
Please note - you will need to register for the event (name and email), but this is the most secure way to run a program!
For other program offerings this week, and complementary crafts & activities, check out https://ocean.org/learnonline/
For more updates, follow @OceanWiseEdu on Twitter :)
Tune into our Wet Labs today at 10am PST to join one of our educators as they complete their daily animal care schedule. Tamara will be showcasing some of our favourite intertidal animals, sharing how we care for these individual animals - what do they eat, how do we clean their habitat, which animals can live together, etc.
Click the link here to tune in: https://oceanwise.webex.com/oceanwise/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2feb3ef2bed985c424a9e9b62efa764d
Good afternoon AquaCamp Parents & Guardians,
We wanted to provide a quick update on the current status of Summer AquaCamps 2020. We have been told to go ahead with planning camps to begin July 6th, and we will be monitoring the updates and recommendations from BC Health and government officials before we make our final decision. It is possible that we may not be able to run camp at full capacity of 120 campers each week, but we are hopeful that we will be able to run in some capacity.
The first week of camp originally scheduled for June 29 - July 3rd has been cancelled. If you are currently registered for this week, Brett will be in contact in the next few weeks to provide a full refund, or transfer your booking to another date. Cancelling the first week of camp gives us another week before we decide what the summer looks like, and means we will have more time to hire and train our summer educators.
We will continue to provide updates as they come!
- #SaveVa initiative: Just over a week since the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium and Ocean Wise Conservation Association went public with their need for $1 million a month in funding to sustain animal care and operations during the COVID-19 closure, Ocean Wise reports that a total of $624,427 has been raised from 8,207 individuals.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC partner to #SaveVA: Do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community and show your support for the Vancouver Aquarium with this stylish non-medical face mask. With comfort in mind this high-performance reusable mask has been custom-designed and produced by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (one of our valued community partners) with proceeds from sales going to support the Vancouver Aquarium and help care for our 70,000 animals during the COVID-19 closure. https://vanaquashop.org/vancouver-aquarium-whitecaps-facemask/
- Online Ocean: our online learning platform is updated every week with daily wet lab programs, live events, and crafts & activities! This week's feature craft is a Squid Headband. Share a photo of your craft on Twitter and tag @OceanWiseEdu to be featured on the page!
We wish you and your families all the best, and hope we will see you soon!
Hailey & the AquaCamps team
We used to think of the ocean as an expansive, unknowable, never-ending source of food and resources. Now we know better. The combined pressures of pollution, unsustainable resource extraction and climate change are pushing our ocean to the brink.
Humans need to understand that the world, as we know it, will not survive without a healthy and flourishing ocean. For starters, the ocean is our planet’s most effective line of defense against climate change. The ocean sequesters carbon more efficiently than forests and produces 70% of the oxygen we breathe. It is also the key source of protein for 3.1 billion people and provides livelihood to 10% of the earth’s population[. Furthermore, the ocean is home to hundreds of thousands of wonderous aquatic species, many not even discovered yet. These ocean species are not only innocent victims in humankind’s mistreatment of the ocean, but some of them may be the key to future scientific discoveries.
As we enter the relief phase of COVID-19, and governments around the world plan investments to restart their economies, we are at a very unique crossroads: do we simply build back the economy as it was? Or, we can build it back better, prioritizing low carbon industries and environmental protection. Can we take advantage of this moment in history when governments are making massive investments in business and industry to ‘leapfrog’ to clean-energy technologies and new ways of doing things.
Is leapfrogging really possible? Of course it is. I am from Sweden and in the 1980s, I can recall how several of the former soviet bloc countries, including East Germany, Poland and Hungary, were in dire need of significant upgrades to telephone systems. But instead of investing in copper wiring and traditional technology, these countries constructed cutting-edge 3G cellular networks, putting them among the most advanced communication systems in Europe at the time. They leapfrogged outdated thinking and jumped straight to the most advanced technology available. We can do this too.
There has been a lot of talk about investing in the ‘green economy’ post COVID-19. Well, I am here to argue that we should also be investing in the ‘blue economy.’
“The Blue Economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.” (World Bank)
Globally, the blue economy, including tourism, fisheries, marine renewable energy and biotechnology, is predicted to grow at double the rate of the rest of the economy by 2030.
Investing in the blue economy means managing the ocean in a way that it remains healthy, and can continue to benefit people as a source of food, carbon sink, recreation and employment.
Globally, investments need to be made in sustainable fisheries, sustainable aquaculture, sustainable energy production, sustainable shipping (including investments in low carbon fuel and green ports), ecosystem protection and carbon sequestration.
The innovation and ideas are there, our governments just need to be courageous enough to implement them.
Eelgrass meadows (such as the one pictured above) have shown an impressive ability to store and sequester carbon. Ocean Wise advocates for mapping, tracking, and re-colonizing these underwater meadows as one of many ways to address climate change through investments in the ‘blue economy’.
Get Involved this #WorldOceansWeek
Online Ocean programming this week:
#LivefromtheWetLab: Free daily live streams highlighting innovation in our Education programs. Please check our website for the daily schedule.
Other World Oceans Week Activation:
- Monday June 8 - Celebrate the World’s Ocean – activities from coast to coast to coast this week https://www.oceansweekcanada.ca/. Let us know your favourite way to celebrate the ocean on Twitter @OceanWiseEdu using #GoOceanBlue
- World Oceans Week Canada: Our aim, together with your help, is for Canadians and communities from coast to coast to coast to learn about and get involved in Oceans Day/Oceans Week events happening nearby or to find inspiration and support to start new events in new places.
- Ocean Wise is committed to and encourages everyone to take action to protect and preserve the ocean.Please take a look at a World Oceans Day video message from our Executive Vice President, Dr. Carlos Drews here.