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Science Literacy Week underway until Sept. 21 at Champney's West Aquarium

["This new building in Champney's West is expected to open as an aquarium in 2016."]
Champney's West Aquarium
PORT REXTON, N.L. —

Ocean Plastics and its Relationship to the Ecosystem will be the focus of a Science Literacy Week hosted by Champney’s West Aquarium now underway until Sept. 21.
Students visiting the aquarium throughout the week will have hands-on opportunity to see the harmful effects of ocean plastic.
"We’re incorporating a beach clean-up,” explained Shelly Blackmore, aquarium xecutive director. “Just a brief one so that students can understand that this marine plastic is actually in their neighbourhood, and then we come back to the aquarium and sort through to determine like scientists would the category of the plastic and the volume of each category.”   
She said the hands-on experience creates a better understanding of the issue of marine plastic.
"Yesterday, when we were doing a cleanup in Bonavista, the students, the teachers and the volunteers that were involved were like, 'Wow, had no idea'. They were amazed, disgusted but felt like they were doing something good." 
Blackmore estimates they will see 300 students from schools throughout out the Bonavista Peninsula and Arnold's Cove pass through their doors for the eight-day event.
As part of the event the aquarium show the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” on Sept. 20 at 7 pm. Attendees are asked to bring along their own beverage in a reusable container. Popcorn will be available at $1 per bag.  
Dr. Paul Snelgrove, a professor at Memorial University, as well as the director of Canadian Healthy Oceans Network, will give his presentation entitled "An Ocean of Opportunity” on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. 
Following the presentation will be the official opening of the “Edison B. Freeman Learning Centre.
The aquarium is open from 2-5 p.m. with free admission all week. For more information or questions contact the Aquarium at 709-464-251.
The event is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and conducted in partnership with the Ocean Science Centre of Memorial University. The aquarium is also receiving support from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


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