Kalem Thomas

Event funds marine research

A MERS event in Telegraph Cove will help to keep marine research alive in the area

Telegraph Cove’s Seahorse Cafe played host to a June 14 event raising money to further marine research and education. The Marine Research and Education Society Love Your Ocean event took place in the sunshine from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and included a photo booth with ocean-themed costumes, a make your own humpback tail magnet station, a raffle, an auction, and a barbecue.

A highlight of the auction was the chance to win a fishing and whale watching trip with NHL star and local Willie Mitchell.

The Marine Research and Education Society (MERS) is a non-profit organization that promotes conservation and understanding of marine life through research, education and wildlife response.

They have a total of six directors with diverse backgrounds, and they also function with the help of volunteers.

“We’re completely mind-blown by the support largely from companies up here that depend on the ocean as well,” says Jackie Hildering, humpback whale researcher and education director for MERS.

The afternoon also saw an “Educating Adults” puppet show intended to dispel misconceptions about certain species and teach people about the importance of conservation.

Christie McMillan, president of MERS and the director of humpback whale research for the society, says the main goal of the event is to raise money to put directly into research and education.

A similar event was run two years ago and was very successful, and when the chance to repeat came up this year, the MERS team seized the opportunity and began planning through the winter.