Marine life will be the star of proposed waterfront display

Nature house idea scaled down for info centre project

A new display in the works will allow locals and tourists alike to better enjoy the marine life found on the Oak Bay shoreline.

Whether it’s birds at Cattle Point, sea stars and mussels at McNeill Bay, or the seals at the Oak Bay Marina, ocean critters are a big part of the community’s identity, and the municipality is working on a plan to capitalize on that.

The Marine Life Info Centre was first conceived by Oak Bay resident Jacques Sirois as a nature house-type interpretive centre, complete with permanent displays and staff. However, the project has been scaled back to a more modest plan.

“We’re looking to put up signage, much like the heritage signage that’s on (Oak Bay Avenue),” said Lorna Curtis, Oak Bay’s director of parks and recreation and a member of the municipality’s Community Initiatives Committee, which is overseeing the project.

“It would explain the marine life and there would be a bench in the area for people to sit and enjoy the marine life.”

Curtis said the group has zeroed in on a specific location for the display, but would not reveal it until the committee had consulted with area residents.

The project is expected to cost about $6,000. Funding will likely come from the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Oak Bay, as well as the committee itself in the form of a small grant. Private donors are being sought to cover the remainder of the cost.

Though the info centre has been greatly downsized from its initial vision, Curtis says that if it is well-received, there could be room for future expansion, most likely in the form of similar displays in other locations.

There is currently no timetable for the project’s completion. Once the neighbourhood consultations have been conducted and funding secured, work will begin.

editor@oakbaynews.com

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