A mother seal nuzzles her pup. (Nick Wemyss photo)

A mother seal nuzzles her pup. (Nick Wemyss photo)

Nature loving passengers in for a whale of a time aboard BC Ferries

Coastal nature experts return for free talks on BC Ferries this summer

BC Ferries and partners are laying on a series of talks from Coastal Naturalists to teach visitors and locals about the world beneath the waves.

The popular Coastal Naturalist Program returns June 14 to Sept. 4. Coastal Naturalists will give a series of 20 minute presentations on board selected vessels and at several terminals, to customers of all ages. The talks encompass B.C.’s wildlife, marine creatures, geography and history.

ALSO READ: 1858 Naval maps combined with satellite data helps researchers map kelp bed health

“The Coastal Naturalists are a highlight for many people who travel with us. We’re happy to offer this experience again this summer, on more sailings and at more terminals than ever before,” said Janet Carson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience. “To meet demand, the program is starting early this year, and we’re adding more than 100 additional presentations to the schedule.”

For the 2019 summer season, more than 1,300 presentations are being laid on, with the Coastal Naturalists set-up on the outer decks of vessels. The routes chosen to host them link Metro Vancouver with Vancouver Island. They will also be at the Tsawwassen, Swartz Bay, Duke Point, Departure Bay and Horseshoe Bay terminals. Now in its 14th year, the Coastal Naturalist Program is presented in partnership with Parks Canada and Ocean Wise.

ALSO READ: Scientists warn warmer and more acidic oceans threaten marine life

“It is a sure sign of summer when Coastal Naturalists liven up BC Ferries travel by sharing the wonders of the coast through on-board presentations and engagement at ferry terminals. Parks Canada is proud to be a partner in this well-loved program and raise awareness of the incredible cultural and natural resources visitors can discover at protected places like Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, as well as many other locations in the region,” said Helen Davies, Field Unit Superintendent for Parks Canada’s Coastal BC Field Unit.

“Ocean Wise is thrilled to be partnering with Parks Canada and BC Ferries this year on the Coastal Naturalist program,” added James Bartram, vice president of Ocean Wise Education and Youth. “We look forward to engaging, amazing and inspiring ferry passengers this summer by sharing our passion for the world’s oceans.”

ALSO READ: Coroners use new tool to crack mystery of the floating feet in the Salish Sea

BC Ferries estimate 150,000 passengers participate in these presentations each season. Since the Coastal Naturalist Program began in 2005, the company say close to two million people have enjoyed the free educational programs.

To learn more about the 2019 Coastal Naturalist Program or to read about this year’s Coastal Naturalists, visit the Coastal Experiences section of their website, bcferries.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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