1. The Vancouver Aquarium Expands: On June 20, 2014, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre unveiled the biggest expansion in its history. Starting with a revamped courtyard and entry way for guests, to the signature upside-down globe in the Teck Connections Gallery, a new Café and larger gift shop, guests enjoyed brand new spaces and new aquatic features. In total more than one million guests visited the Aquarium in 2014, making it the third consecutive year we’ve reached this milestone.

    Vancouver Aquarium expansion.

    The upside down globe greets visitors in our newly expanded spaces.

  2. The Rescue of a False Killer Whale: This summer, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre team was called out to rescue a false killer whale calf who was stranded near Tofino. After months of around-the-clock care, “Chester” is now thriving and has been moved to a larger habitat behind-the-scenes at the Vancouver Aquarium.

    Chester, the false killer whale

    Chester, the false killer whale, is now thriving after months of care.

  3. Hexacopters Used in Ground-Breaking Research: In collaboration with NOAA, Vancouver Aquarium researcher Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, took never-before-seen footage of killer whales in the wild. These aerial photographs provide new ways to study killer whales that may help to provide insights into conserving these endangered whale populations.

    Wild killer whale drone photos.

    New aerial photos provide insights into wild killer whales. Photo Credit: NOAA and Vancouver Aquarium.

  4. A Tale of Two Cities on a Dive Cleanup: To kick off the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, in partnership with WWF Canada, simultaneous dive cleanups took place in Ottawa and Vancouver to highlight the effects of shoreline pollution.

    Dive cleanup

    Divers pulled up a wide variety of marine debris to kick off the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

  5. Launched the Coastal Ocean Research Institute: In the spring of 2014, Vancouver Aquarium established a new, multidisciplinary, collaboration-based, institute to fill a major gap in understanding and managing our coastal ocean environments. Top scientists and researchers will be studying everything from ocean pollution to marine mammals in the wild to natural history studies in the Howe Sound Region.

    Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Pollution Research

    Dr. Peter Ross heads up the Ocean Pollution Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium.

  6. New Insights into Sea Star Wasting: After months of research and study into sea star wasting disease, one culprit is identified – the densovirus. Sea stars across the entire Pacific coastline were affected by this virus.

    Sea star wasting disease

    One piece of the sea star wasting mystery solved.

  7. Ned Bell Cycles across Canada: Over the course of 72 days, chef Ned Bell cycled 8,700 kilometres across Canada, raising awareness for healthy oceans and sustainable seafood. His goal: to allow every Canadian easy access to sustainable seafood options.

    Ned Bell cycles across Canada.

    8,700 kilometres and still smiling.

  8. Beluga Research Heads to the Arctic: Vancouver Aquarium research associate Dr. Valeria Vergara took her beluga research to the Arctic this summer to study the calls between mothers and calves in their pristine nursing grounds. She documents her five week long journey and shares her findings on what this means for the future of the Arctic passageway.

    Beluga whale Arctic research

    Dr. Vergara studies beluga whale calls in the wild. Photo Credit: Gretchen Freund.

  9. Wally Meets New Companion: In the fall of 2013, a sea otter was found riddled with shotgun pellets and brought to our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre for care. After months of critical care and several successful surgeries, “Wally” recovered from his extensive injuries. Unable to be released as he was blinded by the shotgun pellets, Wally now has a permanent home at the Aquarium and was introduced to other rescued sea otters this past fall.

    Rescued sea otters

    Wally meets Katmai and Tanu earlier this fall.

  10. The Rescue of 150 Seal Pups: Our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre was a busy place to be this summer with the rescue of over 150 seal pups. As a self-sustaining, not-for-profit, the cost of caring for these animals is funded by admission to the Aquarium and donations. A few lucky seals were outfitted with special transmitters that will track their travels over the next few months before naturally falling off.

    Seal release at the Vancouver Aquarium

    Seals released with special trackers contribute to future learning.

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