Duncan nurse wins submarine journey to Sea of Glass


Vancouver – On October 15th and 16th, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) in association with Nuytco Research Ltd. will launch a submarine expedition to explore the ancient glass sponge reefs in the Strait of Georgia. In September, CPAWS held a contest for one lucky member of the public to join the expedition. The winner was Debbie Heys, a nurse from Duncan, B.C. who was randomly selected from over 1,000 entries from all across Canada. 

Heys will join the National Director of CPAWS’ Oceans Program, Sabine Jessen, Juno award winner Dan Mangan, and BC-based explorer Bruce Kirkby on a voyage to see the extraordinary glass sponges that reside in the depths of our coastal waters. The event combines the adventure of Nuytco submarines, the mystique of deep-sea marine life and the rarity of the globally unique glass sponge reefs. Each dive will accommodate two VIP guests at a time.

British Columbia is the only place in the world where reef-building glass sponges have been found. Prior to their discovery, scientists only knew of glass sponge reefs from fossil records; they were thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs. CPAWS-BC is calling for immediate fishing closures and future Marine Protected Areas in the Strait of Georgia to protect the Glass Sponge Reefs.

Heys and the expedition members will look at the current state of the glass sponge reefs in the Strait of Georgia while raising awareness of the need for their protection.

Team members will be live tweeting throughout the day. You can follow the conversation on our Twitter account (@CPAWSbc) and with the hashtag #seaofglass.

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For more information: Alexandra Barron at 604-685-7445 or seaofglass@cpawsbc.org