Although summer seems to be making a slow and drawn out arrival this year, the cold weather has not deterred us from getting into the swing of things with community outreach! As outreach coordinator for Cetus and Straitwatch, I have been busy preparing for upcoming festivals and presentations and was given the opportunity to participate in some fantastic events this past weekend.
The first of these events took place on Newcastle Island, just across from the Nanaimo Harbour. The Nanaimo paddler’s club (http://www.nanaimopaddlers.org) invited me to come out and give a presentation about marine mammals during their annual camping trip and I was more than happy to oblige! The presentation included information about the diversity of marine mammals on our coast, helpful techniques for identifying species, interesting behaviours researchers are learning about as well as threats these animals face and ways that we can all make a difference in their lives. The audience was fantastic and even humoured me by participating in a game designed to reinforce characteristics of common species on our coast.
After leaving the beautiful setting of Newcastle Island (http://www.newcastleisland.ca) I travelled slightly south to the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s annual maritime festival (http://www.ladysmithmaritimesociety.ca). While manning a table filled with marine mammal information, I had the chance to meet some belly dancers and numerous salty pirates including none other than Captain Jack Sparrow himself It was a beautiful sunny day and the live music, festive attire and variety of venders made for a fun filled weekend!
These two events have helped to kick off the Cetus outreach season and there are many more to come! Look for us next weekend at the Nanaimo Boat show (http://www.vancouverislandboatshow.com) and the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre’s Ocean’s Day event (http://www.oceandiscovery.ca).