Dive deep into the Bay of Fundy without leaving your home
If you’ve always wanted to see what lives beneath the dark waters of the Bay of Fundy – without the risk of unfamiliar plant matter brushing your legs – then you’re in luck.
Dive Deeper, a virtual museum exhibit about the Passamaquoddy region of the Bay of Fundy, which opened this week.
Presented by the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, the website allows you to delve deep into the flora and fauna that live above and below the depths of the Bay from the comfort of your own home.
Through a mix of the latest marine mapping and underwater photography technologies, users can explore 3D maps and 360-degree videos of six areas of Passamaquoddy Bay.
Meanwhile, photos and videos of the underwater world bring you up close without having to dive.
From a lumpfish giving the underwater cameraman a side eye as he swims away, to forests of sea potatoes swaying in the current, there’s plenty to explore.
Claire Goodwin is a Research Scientist at Huntsman Marine Science Center and Curator of the Atlantic Reference Center Museum.
She was also one of the divers who dived and brought the underwater world to the big screen.
“I mean, this region is amazing,” said Goodwin, who moved to New Brunswick from England six years ago. “It just has such diversity, so many different locations.”
The region they are exploring is within an invisible line from Point Lepreau to the corner of Grand Manan, Goodwin said information morning On Wednesday.
One of her favorite dives in the area is Deer Island Point, which is near the Old Sow hot tub and is not for novice divers.
There were sometimes only half-hour windows in which to dive when the powerful tides subsided temporarily. But when they subsided, the divers were rewarded with bedrock teeming with life.
“People seem to think that we only get colorful marine life in tropical areas,” Goodwin said. “But actually… we have beautiful, colorful marine life all over this area.”
The underwater videos take viewers everywhere from the burrow of an Atlantic wolffish, eating a horse clam – shell and all – to tracking a lobster as it travels across the sea floor.
Chandler Stairs is a graduate student in biology at the University of New Brunswick and part of a research lab studying the role of the Atlantic sea wolf in Passamaquoddy Bay.
The loach can be scary at first glance – a big-headed fish with buck teeth that lives in caves.
Stairs said they are an apex predator but they are known to be docile to divers.
Stairs was not directly involved with the Dive Deeper project, but her research team is mentioned in it.
However, she was enthusiastic about the project and said a challenge in presenting marine science and biodiversity information to the public is often the lack of a platform.
“Their website is phenomenal in the way they set it up,” Stairs said. “It’s very accessible and beautiful for anyone just interested in learning more about the bay.”
Goodwin said the project’s dual purpose is to inspire people to learn more about the intricate ecosystems and to encourage young people to consider potential careers in a variety of fields within marine sciences.
“That’s what we’re trying to do through the site – simply raise awareness of how amazing the habitats we have and the species we have here, and hopefully get people excited about them for future generations.” protect,” she said.
Peter Lawton is a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Saint Andrews and one of the researchers interviewed in a series on marine science careers and technology.
Lawton said he was particularly impressed with the educational materials available to instructors on Dive Deeper and the diversity of marine species they contain.
“I think as an educational resource, it’s tremendous,” Lawton said. “I think it will give people a very different perspective of the area.”
Illuminate the deep
The Bay of Fundy is cold and dark, and it took teamwork to illuminate and capture the site’s underwater footage.
According to Goodwin, the 360-degree videos required a special film crew led by Chris Harvey Clark of Dalhousie University.
Not only did they need the right camera gear, but they also needed multiple divers with enormous lights, which meant they had a dive team of at least three people.
Goodwin, who dives year-round, said she’s never really been scared underwater in the Bay of Fundy – although she has yet to encounter a great white shark and admitted she’s not sure how that would make her feel.
“We’ve had a few instances where we’ve come up and the currents picked up pretty quickly,” Goodwin said. “When we’re at the safety stop, the current pushes us around, it’s really a bit exciting.”
Funded by Digital Museums Canada in 2017, the project took nearly six years to complete. Dive Deeper is also a bilingual site with video descriptions and 2D accessibility options.