The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a public aquarium located in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to being a major tourist attraction for Vancouver, the aquarium is a centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation.
The Vancouver Aquarium was one of the first facilities to incorporate professional naturalists into the galleries to interpret animal behaviors. Prior to this, at the London Zoo Fish House, naturalists James S. Bowerbank, Dr. E Lankester, Mr D. Mitchell and Philip Henry Gosse (the creator of the word aquarium) had regularly held “open house” events, but the Vancouver Aquarium was the first to employ educational naturalists on a full-time basis.
Aquarium research projects extend worldwide, and include marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation. The aquarium is run by a self-supporting non-profit organization. The operation of the aquarium receives no government funding. The property is owned by the City of Vancouver and rented to the Aquarium for $40,000 a year since 1991 (prior to which $1 per year). In October 2009 the Vancouver Aquarium was designated as a Coastal America Learning Center by the US Environmental Protection Agency. As the first Learning Center in Canada, this designation is intended to strengthen the Canadian/U.S. partnership for protecting and restoring shared ocean resources.
The aquarium covers approximately 9000 m² (100,000 ft²) and has a total 9.5 million litres (2.5 million gallons) of water in 166 aquatic displays. There are a number of different galleries, several of which were built at different times throughout the aquarium’s history.
Pacific Canada Pavilion – This central indoor exhibit is comprised of a 260,000 litre tank directly adjacent to the entrance. Fishes and invertebrates from the Strait of Georgia are displayed in the exhibit.
Arctic Canada – Originally this gallery included the Beluga whales along with several non-living displays. In October 2009, a new exhibit opened here displaying several other arctic species, including fishes and invertebrates, along with expanded non-living exhibits.
The Wild Coast – This is an outdoor gallery that includes several pools. Three Pacific White-sided Dolphins, three sea otters, and a harbour porpoise are permanently on display here, along with several “touchpools” where visitors are able to touch British Columbian invertebrates. Several other species (harbour seals, Steller’s Sea Lions, and northern fur seals) are rotated in to display in this area. When not on display they live in habitats behind the scenes that are not accessible to visitors.
Treasures of the BC Coast – This gallery is a series of separate exhibits that simulate the various aquatic environments on the BC coast. Octopi, Rockfish, sea stars, sea urchins, and anemones are among the animals here.
Tropic Zone – This gallery contains a large display of tropical fish and other animals, including blacktip reef sharks and a green sea turtle named Schoona.
Amazon Rainforest – A number of fresh water fish, snakes, caimans, sloths, birds, and other creatures from the Amazon inhabit this gallery.
Frogs Forever? Gallery – This gallery is an exhibit focused on the plight of the world’s frog population which endeavors to show how people can help protect frogs and other amphibians. It contains 26 species of amphibians from around the world.
Canaccord Exploration Gallery – This gallery is home to jellies, fishes, and other animals. The 4D Theatre and the children’s play area known as “Clownfish Cove” are here, along with multiple classrooms for school groups, including the wet lab education room, which contains both conventional teaching methods such as computers, tables, and chairs, along with live animals and various artifacts.
For a tour of Stanley Park call Vancouver Limo today 604-874-4880