Conservationist provides a rare look into the Great Bear Rainforest coastal waters

IanHighRes_v_ smallThe coastal waters of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia contain more than a thousand uninhabited islands and are one of the planet’s most ecologically rich marine environments. Stretching 21 million acres from Vancouver Island to Southeast Alaska, the area includes the largest coastal temperate rainforest on earth and is globally renowned for its astonishing biodiversity.

Based on his summer 2015 expedition, long-time Great Bear Rainforest resident, Ian McAllister will describe his efforts to generate a more complete picture of the B.C coast from both below and above the water.  This will be presented in a public talk, Where the ocean meets the rainforest: exploring Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest on Monday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre.

“British Columbia’s offshore world is as real as the mountains we climb and the rivers we swim in, but not nearly as familiar,” says the acclaimed photographer and co-founder and Executive Director of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild.

Using advances filming techniques, McAllister and his team have captured some of the Blue Shark and salmon shark_small
lesser known stories of right whale dolphins, blue sharks, salmon sharks and studied their relationship to the waters of what is now known as the Great Bear Sea of the central and north coast of British Columbia.  McAllister has described this experience as “the most spectacular display of aquatic ballet I could ever imagine”, and hopes through the sharing of spectacular photography, videography and storytelling, he can continue to inspire others to protect this precious region.

An award-winning photographer and author of six books including Great Bear Wild, McAllister’s images have appeared in publications around the world. He has been honoured by the Globe & Mail as one of 133 highly accomplished Canadians, and he and his wife, Karen McAllister, were named by Time magazine one of the “Leaders of the 21st Century” for their efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has won the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award.

Where the ocean meets the rainforest is presented in collaboration with Pacific Wild, and is part of the Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College), which is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Cooper’s Foods, Starbucks Coffee, and the Vernon Morning Star.

Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644.

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