Our mission is to raise awareness about local marine biodiversity and promote respect for the ocean environment. We greet visitors from all over the world treating them to a very personal view of the fish and invertebrates from our local waters in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds.
RADIATION SAMPLING: The Ucluelet Aquarium is participating in a research study with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to determine How Radioactive is Our Ocean. This project is a direct result of concerns about oceanic radioactivity caused by the leaking of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
The Aquarium will be raising funds specifically for this project to be able to collect, send and process samples taken right here in the coastal waters of Ucluelet. The goal is to raise enough funds fo rthree samples per year, a total cost of $1,800.00. If you would like to help fund this collaborative research project, donations can be made directly online to the Ucluelet Aquarium or on the Woods Hole site.
Results and interpretation are provided online through the How Radioactive is our Ocean website.
SUMMER LAB SERIES: During our peak season (June-August) we offer summer labs once a week. Marine ecology, physiology and anatomy are taught to youth in a fun interactive way.
PARK TALKS: Once a week a Ucluelet Aquarium interpreter brings a small display of local marine animals to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre (on Wickinninish Beach) and educates the public on the featured organisms. Free and available during our peak season (June-August).
BIG BEACH TALKS: Explore the tide pools of Big Beach with a Ucluelet Aquarium educator! Free and available during our peak season (June-August).
MARINE DEBRIS: The Ucluelet Aquarium is proud to be part of a number of projects and initiatives aimed to educate the public and reduce the impacts of marine debris. Our Be a Better Beach Goer project (generously sponsored by MEC and The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust) has educated thousands of visitors on how to enjoy our majestic coastline responsibly. We are currently hosting an interactive marine debris art installation designed by Pete Clarkson. In the next year we hope to successfully develop and implement a micro plastics citizen science program. You can see a video here.
SEA STAR WASTING SYNDROME: In light of the recent sea star wasting epidemic, the Ucluelet Aquarium has paired with the Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society and UCSC to conduct monthly sea star surveys. The surveys will help researches assess the progression and extent of the disease. For more information strawberryisle.org.
Directors at Large
Terence (TJ) Schmaltz
Ucluelet Council Representative
The Ucluelet Aquarium Society is grateful to the following sponsors for their support and encouragement.
To give a donation please contact email@example.com or visit our Canada Helps page.
In the spring of 2004, the Ucluelet Mini Aquarium was opened as a pilot project on the Ucluelet waterfront. Conceived by Philip Bruecker as an alternative to large modern public aquaria, its focus was on local species only, interactivity, open display of infrastructure and, most importantly, a “catch-and-release” model which saw specimens released back to their home habitats each autumn.
This pilot project proved popular and the non-profit Ucluelet Aquarium Society was formed to oversee and grow the aquarium.
By the late 2000’s, the increasing popularity of the aquarium strongly suggested that our ‘plywood shack’ Mini Aquarium was no longer able to meet the needs of the public and plans were hatched to construct a permanent facility.
With thousands of hours of volunteer input, widespread contributions from local businesses and, finally, support from municipal, provincial and federal governments, the new Ucluelet Aquarium opened its doors in May of 2012. Designed by Blue Sky Architecture and built by local tradespeople, the aquarium has proved popular with residents and visitors alike. The aquarium now attracts international attention.
As visitorship continues to grow, and programming, outreach and conservation efforts expand and evolve, the Ucluelet Aquarium has remained true to its founding principles.