The Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is a not-for-profit organization that has inspired millions of visitors to join its mission to connect the public to the oceans and all the wonders within them. Part of its commitment includes groundbreaking research in ocean conservation while inspiring people to participate in creating healthy oceans.
Today there are many unknowns in our oceans, microplastics lurk in the waters – affecting marine life, their food sources, and ultimately humans.
The purpose of this exhibit was to provide their visitors with a new immersive experience that connected them to Ocean Wise’s mission and met the Ocean Plastics Initiative partnership goals. Part of this endeavor was to change the paradigm of the aquarium and present an experience that was not only science-based but also included an artistic perspective.
Vortex – a year-long immersive installation, featuring acclaimed author and artist Douglas Coupland, engaged the aquarium’s visitors with the important issue of marine plastics debris. This was accompanied by solution-based interpretative exhibits in several areas of the aquarium.
The purpose of the exhibits was to help visitors to understand the persistence of plastics, especially in the form of microplastics, while offering solutions they can apply to reduce their use of this material, and how they can help animals impacted by ocean plastic pollution. 
The exhibit helped demonstrate Ocean Wise’s commitment to marine science research, ocean conservation, and artistic expression while showcasing the fact that we are still discovering what lives in the oceans, how it will impact us, and what are the different ways we can affect what is happening in our oceans.
All images courtesy of Vancouver Aquarium®
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