Megan Boettcher holds a horseshoe crab in the ocean. (Contributed photo)

Megan Boettcher holds a horseshoe crab in the ocean. (Contributed photo)

Free workshop at Crescent Park offers chance to explore the ocean floor

Educational event made possible thanks to the Neighbourhood Small Grant program

A fun, free hands-on science workshop that aims to educate visitors about the ocean is scheduled for Crescent Park this weekend.

The program, called Explore the Ocean Floor, was created by Megan Boettcher and Dr. Veronica Wahl, and was made possible thanks to the Neighbourhood Small Grant Program – which was administered locally by Alexandra Neighbourhood House. The event will run Saturday, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the picnic shelter in Crescent Park (near the 28 Avenue parking lot).

Attendees to the workshop – which Boettcher says is open to participants from 14 to 114 – will learn about the endangered glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound, and a method scientists use to study them called bathymetry.

Leading the discussion will be scientist-educators from Science For Inc., Boettcher noted, adding that no previous science knowledge is necessary to attend.

“I was motivated to develop this program because I am a life-long ocean conservationist. When I took up scuba diving in Howe Sound, I learned about these very old, very rare glass sponges that are facing risk of extinction largely due to increased human activity (marine traffic and certain fishing practices),” Boettcher wrote in an email.

“I love to make hands-on science teaching tools, and (the small grant program) provided the means to bring this one about.”

While the program is free, pre-registration is required by going to https://exploretheoceanfloor.eventbrite.ca

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