2023 Summer Nature & Science Camp leader positions – apply now!

We are hiring a Summer Camp Coordinator and 2 Camp Leaders for our upcoming 2023 Nature and Science Summer Day Camps! You don’t want to miss an opportunity to be part of this amazing team!

30 hrs/week from mid-June through August.

Our summer nature and science camps creatively engage participants from 5 to 9 years-old (groups of twelve 5-7 or 7-9 year-olds over a 5-day camping experience)i n fun hands-on learning, including arts, crafts, games, mud-digs, beach seines and other science-based activities related to nature, our local estuary, watersheds and ecosystems, conservation and restoration, and citizen science. Games and activities are mostly outdoors, including on the beach, along our estuary interpretive trail and up on our wildlife viewing tower. Indoors we have aquariums and an observation tank with marine and intertidal creatures, microscopes, telescopes. and interactive displays. We have camp curriculum materials and resources, and there’s also lots of room for our summer camp leader team to get creative. Respect for local Indigenous care for the land and wisdom is also foundational.

Click here for our Summer-Nature-Science-Camp-Coordinator-2023

Click for find our Summer-Nature-Science-Camp-Leader-2023

How to Apply:  Please submit a cover letter and resume by May 15th via email, mail or in person to:

Alison Adamson

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

Box 5 Cowichan Bay Rd
Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0

Email: alison@cowichanestuary.ca

IMPORTANT NOTE: Positions are contingent on Canada Summer Jobs funding and may change in response public health directives on group activities related to Covid 19.  This may affect employment contracts. 

We look forward to hearing from you and the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre thanks all applicants for your interest.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  Job interviews may be conducted online via Zoom.

Louisa Varco, CENC Aquarist and Educator connects with Volunteers

This past summer Lousia Varco joined us as our Aquarist and as a part of our Educator Team.  Throughout the fall Louisa could most often be found in the evenings quietly fine-tuning the salinity in our intertidal aquarium and observation tank and checking on the well-being of the intertidal creatures

Louisa (centre) orienting volunteers

Louisa is now in the final weeks of completing her Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology Diploma at VIU. She also has experience working as a Independent Contractor with DFO on the European Green Crab Trials, has worked with marine mammals, and spent last summer working at the Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

This past Friday afternoon February 18th a number of our volunteers, staff, and board members, enjoyed an informative aquarium orientation and update with Louisa, with lots of time to ask questions and get to know one another.

Louisa is now looking forward to working with volunteers to setting up our seasonal freshwater salmon fry tank in anticpation of raising coho salmon fry and sharing that experience with visitors (part of the DFO’s Salmonids in the Classroom program).

Our intertidal observation tank and aquariums are a big draw for school classes and visitors and we are thrilled to have Louisa as part of our team.

We are currently looking for contract marine educators to deliver school programming this coming fall and spring. Aquarium maintenance candidates with experience in delivering marine education programming may be interested in also applying to be a contract educator at the Nature Centre, as part of a combined contract.

We are accepting applications now. Please apply  to admin@cowichanestuary.ca with resume and references.  Start date: as soon as possible.


Contract Educator positions – hands-on nature & science programs – Apply by March 30th

Contract Educator positions – hands-on nature & science programs – Apply by March 30th


We’re lookiing for Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Educators (contract position with fexible term): Do you have a background in nature education and enjoy transmitting your knowledge and love of nature to children and youth? Perhaps you are a retired or part-time teacher who enjoys leading hands-on learning with children from grades K-9? We are looking for nature educators to join our team and bring the Cowichan Estuary to life for school groups in K-9 at our Centre on the shores of the Cowichan Estuary this spring. Join us and get inspired working in an amazing ecosystem and community here in the Cowichan Valley. Our educators may also be invited to co-lead restoration programs for high school youth working with Anna Scounten, our Restoration Program Lead. Contract rate: $20 – $23/hour.

As a Nature Centre educator you would lead or co-lead (dependent on class sizes) 1hr – 1.5 hour nature and ecology programs for learners in Grades K-9. Our programs focus on hands-on experiential learning, include time outside in nature and cover topics such as: estuary intertidal creatures, birds and wildlife, watershed health, climate change, environmental science, nature conservation, biology, etc., and may include social studies and historical content, including respect for the knowledge and care of the Quw’ustun have brought to the estuary and its watersheds from time immemorial to the present day. At low tide activities may include mud digs, micro-plastic surveys and beach seines in the intertidal zone to explore resident sea life.  Hours are dependent on school and restoration programming bookings, typically 2 – 3 hrs weekday mornings or afternoons (usually a 1 to 1.5 hr program plus set up and take down time).  

Applications due by March 31st. For the full job description: Nature Educator Position Description 2022

To apply for Educator Positions: Email your resume and references to admin@cowichanestuary.ca with the subject heading of “Nature Centre Educator 2023”.

We thank all those who apply for your interest!

Open Letter to PM Trudeau to halt nature loss

Nature has never needed us more!

Today we joined 200 nature groups from across Canada in calling on Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, support Indigenous-led conservation, restore ecosystems and advance environmental justice. Help us amplify this call to action by sharing this letter!


Water use restricted on Koksilah River to protect fish populations

“The Province is restricting water use by select users on the Koksilah River to protect fish populations, which are under threat due to low water flows in the river.

The Koksilah River is located south of Duncan on Vancouver Island and supports significant aquatic ecosystems and fish species, including steelhead, coho salmon and trout. These fish populations are important to local First Nations and provide economic benefits.

Ministry biologists have determined that current flow levels are so low that habitat conditions are severely degraded and fish populations may be threatened. The flow of water in the Koksilah River has dropped below 180 litres per second (less than 2% of mean annual discharge) and may be trending downward.

From now until Sept. 30, 2019, specified licences that authorize water use directly from the Koksilah River and its tributaries, and users of wells in aquifers that are hydraulically connected to the river, must cease all diversion and use of water for industrial purposes and for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn.

Ministry staff will be conducting compliance checks in the Koksilah River watershed for the duration of the fish population protection order.

By restricting water use for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn, but allowing water use for stock watering and irrigation of perennial crops and vegetables, water flows should be restored to a level sufficient to maintain fish populations while minimizing effects on users, such as the agricultural sector.

Steps toward developing a water sustainability plan for the Koksilah River watershed are being taken, which is anticipated to help with overall water management in the area. In the event water flows recover to above 180 litres per second on a sustained basis following any significant precipitation events, the Province may revoke the order.”


Source: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0215-001616

Celebrating Water – Beer And Burger Fundraiser at Cow Bay Pub

Celebrating WATER- Rejoice together in the gift of Water and support The Work of The Cowichan Nature Centre, with an evening of songs, stories, and memories about Water- plus beer and burgers!

We’re gearing up for a busy fall season of nature education and restoration and need YOUR help.

Join us for a Beer & Burger fundraiser at the Cow Bay Pub featuring great food, a silent auction, fantastic live music from Paul Ruszel AND storytelling from local naturalists and nature lovers all in Celebration of WATER

Do you have a local Water story to share? It can be personal, epic or amusing, poem, song or story – email alicia@cowichanestuary.ca before September 20th and be included in the storytelling circle.

Don’t miss our silent auction featuring local art, gift certificates from local businesses, and more.

Tickets includes a burger (chicken, beef, or veggie), side of fries or salad, and a drink (domestic beer, wine, or cider).

$25 per ticket, available online, or at Volume One Books, the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre (1845 Cowichan Bay Road).

An evening of stories, music, a silent auction, and delicious food – all for a good cause! Hope to see you there!

All proceeds will support local nature education and restoration at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.

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