Nature of Home: a locally grown marine conservationist

Diver Adam Taylor was first up in the library's Nature of Home series.

Four generations of Adam Taylor’s family have lived on Bowen’s shores

“I remember my dad and Uncle Bill telling me about their childhood in the late 1940s when they used to fill the bathtub with herring that they raked from Snug Cove,” Adam recalled last Saturday evening. “They were avid fishermen and froze the herring on cookie sheets to use for bait. What they couldn’t freeze, their Uncle Ped pickled and what remained went into the garden soil as fertilizer.”

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Adam told us about his early days growing up on Bowen as part of a talk, the first in the library’s Nature of Home series. Adam’s story wove his early memories growing up on Bowen with his passion for scuba diving in Howe Sound and the discovery and conservation of the sound’s famous glass sponge reefs.

I am always curious about the personal history of a conservationist; what pushed them in that direction. Adam’s own reflection was that, for him, it was the influence of his dad and Uncle Bill, both avid fishers and hunters, who spent much time in nature and saw conservation needs. Adam grew up helping them maintain wood duck nesting boxes, and watching the construction of the salmon ladder and hatchery.

“That was the Bowen way, you jumped in and got things done,” said Adam.

Adam learned scuba diving from Brian Hartwick, a Bowen Islander and Simon Fraser University marine biologist. He recalled that during his first training dive at the CNIB Lodge dock in Deep Bay, Brian swam the class a short way off-shore.

“We saw two octopus, right away,” said Adam. “I was hooked!”

Adam has spent many weekends over the past 27 years diving Howe Sound. His stunning underwater video, eye-to-eye with rockfish, shrimp, sea stars and other marine life made me realize how little we know about the rich and diverse life of Howe Sound.

Adam is proud of his work with other citizen scientist divers who discovered, documented, and gained protection for the glass

sponge reefs in Howe Sound.

“These reefs are the only glass sponge reefs in the world that are shallow enough to be accessible to scuba divers,” he told the audience.

But Adam is clear-eyed about how much there is to do.

“We are still in the ‘steam engine’ era when it comes to marine conservation,” he said.

Our next talk in the library’s Nature of Home series is this coming Saturday evening, April 13, 7 p.m. at the library annex. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, local author and award-winning artist, will draw on his Haida heritage,

his activism and his art in his conversation, “WRECK – CONciliation: Now What?”

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited.

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