Seashore Program – Life Between the Tides

The Seashore Program is now discontinued.   Do you have memories of the program?  Perhaps you are a former student?  Or teacher?  Or Volunteer?

Please share your memories with us at

From 1969 through 2017, CFUW Nanaimo Seashore Program delivered presentations on intertidal marine life to groups of grade four students in Nanaimo. Every spring we collected a wide variety of specimens, which were housed in tanks at the Pacific Biological Station for the duration of the five week program.

Each day, volunteers collected a representative selection of animals from the tanks, and loaded them into large buckets of salt water to be transported to the local school.  Later our scheduled classes arrived and the presentation included the following:

  • a short lecture with Power Point presentation emphasizing preservation of the marine environment and information on the characteristics of animals that live between the tides,
  • a longer period of observation and questions at the tanks of live animals and at displays of dried and preserved specimens, and
  • photos taken at local beaches or in local waters.

The Program was funded entirely by CFUW Nanaimo katiand operated strictly on a volunteer basis. We applied for, and received, a few grants to help purchase equipment and supplies. One year we were fortunate enough to receive funds to hire a student; in 2004 we were able to host a Katimavik participant. As well as a passion for education, our volunteers are keen and active. Some are already knowledgeable in intertidal marine life but most of our volunteers learned on the job, guided by those with previous experience.cfuwenv

We also provided learning opportunities for local secondary students who volunteered to assist us. In return for helping us with the physically heavy aspects, they received valuable skills in animal care and feeding, presentation and how to work with elementary students. Our CFUW program was provided at no charge to the schools.  We are very proud of our program and grateful for the help and support we received from the Pacific Biological Station, School District 68 and our club members.

In 2018, the decision was made to discontinue the program.  A variety of other opportunities still exist for Nanaimo and Ladysmith students to have hands-on experiences with live animals, including at Deep Bay Marine Station field trips.

  • We are proud of the 48 years our members provided this “shining star in the education and outreach community”.

Learn about the full history of the seashore program here.