Monterey Sea Lemon. Image courtesy of https://www.vichighmarine.ca/monterey-sea-lemon/
We were so excited to have students from Brockton Secondary School join us for our Marine Investigations program at Montague Harbour. The Hul’qumi’num name for Montague is Sum’nuw, meaning hidden place, due to how sheltered it is. In the rain and wind, we were all thankful for the sheltered or hidden nature of this place.
These students have been working on a marine biology project all semester where they are collectively creating a model of intertidal and marine ecosystems. They were excited to explore a life size version of the project they have been working on all term, and the creatures they found here on Galiano were an inspiration for what they can include in their model.
Marine Investigations in the rain
In the morning, we did a free exploration in the intertidal zone where students had the chance to look under rocks and search in the sand hidden creatures. One of the cool (but sad) findings was a sea Star with sea star wasting syndrome. When affected by this syndrome, lesions appear on sea stars that eventually lead to tissue decay, causing the sea star’s limbs to fall off. It is currently unknown what causes this condition; however, some scientists believe that a sea star associated viral infection called Denso-Virus is the culprit. It is also believed that warming waters due to climate change has played a role in the increased occurrence of sea star wasting syndrome here in British Columbia.
Later in the program, students had the chance to do a second free exploration on the dock where a Sea Lemon Nudibranch was found! This is just one of the many amazing creatures we are so lucky to have here on the coasts of Galiano Island.
Huge thank you to Brockton for being all smiles on this wet and dreary day! We hope sunshine is abundant on your next trip to Galiano.
Book your program for next year by emailing us here.