Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 tank stand builders and dry team.

Hi folks! Being involved with the construction of the new Ucluelet Aquarium is very exciting and unique. From now until the end of January 2012 Seamus Little (middle of photo), John Harkin (left of photo), Jeffrey Geddes (right of photo) and Bailey the dog will be working as 'the dry team'. These types of jobs include building tank supports out of wood, collecting a variety of local shells, bone, rocks and substrate from the surrounding waters, designing the interior layout of tanks and displays, helping with the tank plumbing, lighting etc. and helping out around the aquarium job site. We are working as part of a Job Creation Partnership grant from the Ministry of Housing and Social Services.

Here are some of the exciting projects we have been getting up to so far:

Collecting whale bones for future display in the new aquarium. Special thanks to Jane Hunt from Westerly Winds Farm for donating 4 whale vertebrae. The vertebrae came from the same whale as this awesome skull that Johnny is standing beside.

Built a mock up floor and tank stand to the same dimensions as the future aquarium. We did this to help figure out our feed and return lines from the floor to the tanks.

Cut, sanded and primed sea creature shapes out of thin plywood with Elgin Ambrose from Art Access. These cool sea creatures were then painted by local kids and adults and put up on the construction fence to bring some life to the future aquarium worksite.

Here Seamus is seen cutting and wiring the cutouts.

Working at the aquarium job site stripping concrete forms, stacking wood, moving rocks and working with geotextile.

We are all learning lots having a blast with this project so far! Looking forward to Ukee Days this weekend and checking out the Aquarium Octopus float that will be in the parade. Come and have some fun at Ukee Days!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some new specie, and new building construction...

Welcome summer 2011!
After a long winter, we are finally getting some sunny days.
Construction of our new building is coming along. We are now almost out of the intertidal zone!
A new little red octopus is in our midst, along with some deep sea Tanner crabs and Fragile Pink urchins. The Tanner crabs and Fragile Pink Urchins are truly deep sea species, and can live as far down as 2km. While a deep sea fish might react badly to pressure changes, the crabs can release gasses (which expand as you head towards shallower waters) through its flexible joints.
Unlike our very large Giant Pacific Octopus, the little red will reach a maximum weight of around 3lbs (GPOs often reach 150lbs). It resides now in the back of the aquarium, where it has a small den in the centre of its new home, and hunts the tasty shore crabs scurrying around its tank.

Ukee Days approaches! come out for the Saturday parade! We have a new (and very large) float to surprise everyone with...