The Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre (NSMEC) aquarium may be small compared to some other aquariums, but our knowledgeable staff are sure to leave a positive impression on everyone who visits, young and old. Our 1,200 square foot aquarium showcases 30 habitats of local marine life collected from nearby harbours and bays. You can explore the habitats at your own pace or connect with one of our friendly staff or volunteer interpreters who will be happy to tell you a bit about some of the 70+ species living in the Centre.
NSMEC is a collect-hold-release aquarium formed to advance education and protect the environment for the benefit of all by undertaking projects that sustain the marine ecosystem of Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound, British Columbia and beyond. The collect-hold-release model allows for the exclusive collection of local marine animals, which, after a short stay at the Centre, are released back into the local marine environment. This forward-thinking model is unique to only three other aquarium societies in Canada, making these community-based aquariums pioneers in the field. Having only local species as residents of the aquarium strengthens the connection with our local coastal waters and our public “Release Days” are memorable events open to the entire Sunshine Coast community, increasing that connection even more.