MEDIA ADVISORY: CPAWS launch of submarine expedition off the coast of Vancouver to ensure protection

  • Published on Oct 10 2013 |
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On 15 and 16 October 2013, CPAWS’ Oceans Director Sabine Jessen, in association with Nutyco Research Ltd, will lead a submarine expedition to B.C.’s ocean floor to explore the extraordinary glass sponge reefs found only in the depths of our coastal waters.

Ms Jessen will be joined by internationally renowned scientists; the Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, B.C.’s Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services; Dan Mangan, Juno award winner; and Bruce Kirkby, global explorer. One lucky member of the public, the winner of a recent contest, will also join these adventurers. 

What:  Press conference for the once in a lifetime submarine expedition to B.C.’s glass sponge reefs.

Who:   Sabine Jessen, Oceans Director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
             Dr. Manfred Krautter, Professor, University of Stuttgart
             Dr. Sally Leys, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, University of Alberta
             Phil Nuytten, President & Founder Nuytco Research Ltd.

When:  Tuesday 15 October 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

Where:  Eagle Harbour Yacht Club, 5750 Eagle Harbour Road, West Vancouver.
               Free parking at event.

Why:  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. The sponges and reefs are very fragile and easily damaged by fishing gear and anchors and ‘choked’ by sediments from bottom contact fisheries. CPAWS has been advocating for their protection since 2001.

For more information you can access our backgrounder here 



Access to submarine: Members of the media who wish to view the submarine launches from the barge in Howe Sound on October 15th, are asked to contact Alex at  as space is limited. Launch viewing will take place after the press conference. Transportation via water taxi will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Access to special guests: Dan Mangan and Bruce Kirkby will be available to the media on October 16 around their scheduled dives. Please contact Alex at