The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney BC on Vancouver Island is a world class aquarium right on Sidney’s stunning waterfront. It is located in the lower floor of the Pier Hotel at the end of Beacon Avenue in downtown Sidney just minutes from the BC Ferry terminal at Swartz Bay and the Victoria International Airport.
Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
This spectacular aquarium and marine education centre features 17 marine habitats where visitors discover amazing sea life from king crabs to giant Pacific octopus to brilliantly colored starfish.
The Centre’s touch pools are a hit with children as they can touch and feel the sea life in addition to viewing areas which are stunning in themselves.
The Centre is designed to not only provide a wonderful experience while viewing marine life but also to educate visitors about the living sea. At the end you are asked to make a pledge to protect the oceans.
Deep Sea Portal
You enter the Centre through the deep sea portal where you are introduced to a series of gallery displays very much like you would find snorkeling in the Georgia Straight.
You can view up close jellyfish, wolf eels, anemones, kelp, octopus and a great deal more.
Gallery of the Drifters
You start at the Gallery of the Drifters with back-lit aquarium tanks of jellyfish, algae and plankton.
This is a high-tech classroom like no other. It is “wired” with microscopes, video and Internet connections. There are marine educators there to assist visitors and handle any questions that you might have.
Gallery of the Salish Sea
The Salish Sea includes the waters from the north end of the Strait of Georgia and Desolation Sound to the south end of the Puget Sound and west to the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the inland marine waters of southern BC and northern Washington state.
As you can image that covers a lot of marine life. In this exhibit you will see life-sized Killer Whales (Orcas) swim by on a giant screen all the while listening to the sound of a Salish paddle song.
You may think you are right on the ocean floor as an overhead projector shines an ocean scene right on the floor as you walk by.
Giant Pacific Octopus
Once you leave the Gallery of the Salish Sea you pass through a section of the aqarium that is home to the giant Pacific Octopus.
Next in the Centre is a touch pool where your actually get your hands wet while you touch the amazing sea creatures.
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