A rendering of the OceanExp ocean discovery centre project. (Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc. image)

A rendering of the OceanExp ocean discovery centre project. (Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc. image)

Nanaimo city council interested in ocean discovery centre’s efforts

Council will provide letter of support for Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association project

City council reiterated this week that it supports efforts to try to build an ocean discovery centre on Nanaimo’s waterfront.

The Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association updated councillors about the project Monday at a special meeting, asking for a letter of support.

The city previously spent $65,000 to help pay for an economic feasibility study for the centre, but on Monday council was asked only for an expression of support, not money. Ocean discovery centre representatives said they intend to pursue funding from other levels of government, but wanted to be able to provide evidence of stakeholder support.

“We have an opportunity to develop and design this facility like no other in the world, and we’re getting the attention of organizations around the world,” said Tim Tessier, deep discovery association board member.

Lorne Hildebrand, association president, told councillors the vision for the project has changed over the years, and ideas about underwater viewing have been scrapped due to costs and logistical and environmental concerns. The OceanExp centre would instead focus on virtual ocean exploration and education.

“We’ve changed based on what our experts are telling us is buildable and maintainable,” Hildebrand said.

Tessier read an excerpt from a letter from Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Mike Wyse, which referred to the ocean discovery centre as “an opportunity to continue to champion reconciliation by collaborating together on issues as important as ocean sustainability, education and economic development.”

Coun. Ben Geselbracht said though he “wasn’t overly blown away with the economic potential” found in the feasibility study, he said liked the ocean discovery association’s vision and sees the centre as playing a role in ocean protection and in helping youths relate to the ocean.

Mayor Leonard Krog was in favour of the letter of support, saying “it’s not a time to dream any small dreams,” and Coun. Sheryl Armstrong said she thinks the project is tangible.

“It could be very exciting and we have some of the best cold-water diving in the world, so I could see linkages with that,” she said.

Coun. Erin Hemmens and Coun. Tyler Brown voted against the letter of support; Hemmens said she hasn’t heard from people that an ocean discovery centre is a community priority.

The previous Nanaimo city council also provided an expression of support in 2018.

RELATED: Councillors recommend $65K spending to help proposed ocean centre in Nanaimo

RELATED: Proposed ocean discovery centre receives support from Nanaimo city council



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City Hall

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A rendering of the OceanExp ocean discovery centre project. (Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc. image)

A rendering of the OceanExp ocean discovery centre project. (Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc. image)

Just Posted

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

The Millstone River in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Regional district looks at value of Nanaimo’s natural assets

Report focused on the Millstone River could inform future decisions on corporate asset management

Protesters gather along the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in downtown Nanaimo last month as part of an event called Worth More Standing. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: B.C. hasn’t managed forests properly

Protesters opposing logging in Fairy Creek speak for many British Columbians, say letter writers

Nanaimo singer Victoria Vaughn recently released an EP with local producer Austin Penner. (Photo courtesy Taylor Murray)
Nanaimo singer and recent VIU grad releases EP about becoming an adult

Victoria Vaughn’s ‘Growing Pains’ recorded with local producer Austin Penner

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Air Canada, Harbour Air flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

The Nanaimo Clippers are seeking assistance in raising money for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. Texting NANKIDS to 41010 will see a $10 donation to the food bank. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo Clippers look to assist food bank with fundraising goal

People can text-to-donate to support Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

This photo shows crews battling the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Six fortunate to escape terrifying early-morning fire in Greater Victoria

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

Most Read