The Ucluelet Aquarium
Did you know we have an aquarium out here on the West Coast? Well we do! Up until this year, the Ucluelet Aquarium was comprised of this little box of a building that did nothing to justify the awe-inspiring marine life that was housed inside, not to mention the great staff and volunteers. The dream of building a new aquarium had been in the works for a while and this year we got to see this dream become a reality! The new building is just feet from the site of the old aquarium at the bottom of Main Street, in the heart of Ucluelet, and flows gently into the surrounding landscape; it's even shaped like a nice mellow wave.
The original mini-aquarium The new building!
One thing that makes this relatively small aquarium unique is the amount of touch tanks. The interaction the staff have with visiting guests and the hands-on learning examples and experiments that they enthusiastically want to share with visitors are amazing.
One of the amazing touch tanks. Now that's a sea cucumber!
An aspect that makes the Ucluelet Aquarium different from other aquariums is the release day at the end of each year where the staff and volunteers get the community’s involvement in returning 90% of the aquarium’s residents back to their ocean home.
This year's release day is scheduled for Saturday December 15, 2012. Until then, the aquarium is open from 10-5pm daily. If you find yourself on the West Coast on this day, be sure to stop by the aquarium and lend a helping hand releasing the creatures back to their natural habitat!