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Conservation, Research
And Education

Leatherback Turtle. Photo: Scott Eckert

Why Support Us?

Since 1956, we have been focused on conservation, research and education. As a non-profit society, these efforts are funded by revenue generated from our facility, individual donors and corporate sponsors. Without these sources of revenue, we would be unable to operate our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, conduct wild killer whale research or organize our annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Here is some of the work we do and how we put your kind donations to good use.

Seal Pup at MMR
Oregon Spotted Frogs

Protecting Endangered Species

One of our most well-known initiatives at the Vancouver Aquarium is the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. In 2010, 162 abandoned, injured or sick harbour seal pups were treated at the Rescue Centre. Our other projects include: repopulating critically depleted populations of Black Rockfish along the shoreline of West Vancouver; managing the Killer Whale Adoption Program, which enables us to conduct field and genetic research on wild killer whales; annually organizing the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to protect our waterways; and breeding Oregon spotted frogs as part of an international recovery program, one of only two such programs in North America.

Education Initiatives

The BC Hydro AquaVan educators travel throughout British Columbia and Alberta to deliver award-winning aquatic programs, featuring live animals and interactive activities. Students get the opportunity to discover the connections among animals, environments and ourselves, regardless of where they live. Our diverse range of School Programs has also seen children and their teachers participating in experiential learning at the Aquarium since 1956.

AquaVan Props
Research in the Wild

Research In The Wild

The Vancouver Aquarium is heavily involved in research, both onsite and in the field. The B.C. Cetaceans Sightings Network encourages everyone to report sightings, which helps us determine if cetacean populations are recovering or declining. We also operate annual fish research surveys with volunteer divers, who help gather information about local lingcod and rockfish populations that have reached critically low levels.

Conserving Our Natural World

Today, we are facing numerous significant conservation issues, ranging from the devastating effects of the melting sea ice in the Arctic to the many amphibian species that are facing possible extinction. Overfishing is currently one of the greatest threats to our oceans. The Vancouver Aquarium created the Ocean Wise™ program to make it easy for consumers to choose sustainably sourced seafood that will help ensure the future health of our oceans. Furthermore, we annually operate the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to help preserve our shorelines. In 2011, over 56,000 people removed more than 143,000 kg of litter from over 3,100 km of shoreline. We are also focused on establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) in British Columbia, which act as sanctuaries for dangerously depleted marine populations through the prohibition of fishing and shellfish harvesting.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Sea otters hold hands to rest in groups called “rafts”.
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