Sea Shell Drive: Returning Sea Shells to the Sea Shore

Sea Shell Drive: Returning Sea Shells to the Sea Shore

Bring your local sea shells to the Discovery Passage Aquarium from 10AM to 8:30PM any day until July 31st to receive prizes! Your sea shell donation will be returned to the ocean where they will serve a vital role in marine ecosystems.

The Discovery Passage Aquarium is holding this event in partnership with the Campbell River EARTH+ARTS Festival.

Option 1:

  • Bring in coiled shells, such as a moon snail, for:
    • One free day pass
    • One entry into a raffle for the following prize package:
      • One Aquarium stuffy
      • One Aquarium hat
      • One Family season pass voucher, redeemable at any time in the future!

Option 2:

  • Bring in any other type of sea shell (clam shell, oyster, sea urchin shell) for:
    • One free day pass

What is a Sea Shell Drive?

A sea shell drive is an opportunity to return sea shells to the ocean where they participate in important ecological processes. Even though there is no longer an animal living in the shell, it is still extremely important to the ocean. Many people have collected local shells off of beaches to use in crafts and for decorations, and may have dozens of these shells in their homes. During the sea shell drive you can bring shells that you have collected from local beaches to the Aquarium. These shells will then be returned to beaches in Campbell River and Comox. Divers will also be placing some shells in specific dive sites that are inhabited by animals that utilize these shells. You may bring your sea shells to the Discovery Passage Aquarium (621B Island Highway, Campbell River) across from the Discovery Pier.

Why are sea shells so important for marine ecosystems?

Sea shells are a vital part of global marine and intertidal ecosystems, not only when the clam or snail is alive, but also when it has evacuated its shell. Many creatures such as crustaceans, fish and even octopuses make their homes in these shells. Some creatures, such as hermit crabs cannot survive without discarded shells, as they make essential homes for these crabs. Discarded shells can also be in low supply in some areas, leading animals to compete for the best quality ones. Sea shells are also part of the ocean’s natural mineral cycle. Animals such as clams and snails build their shells using calcium carbonate, which is a mineral naturally found in the ocean. After an animals has evacuated its shell, over time the shell then dissolves back into the sea water. The minerals that the shells are made of are constantly being recycled by the ocean, therefore when shells are removed from the shore vital ocean minerals are being removed from this cycle.

What types shells do we need?

We will only accept LOCAL shells.