Mike Gregory Photo Amy Sennett, 14, has been volunteering at the Sea Life Centre this summer. Amy Sennett has been helping out at the Sea Life Centre on Tuesday and Thursdays in August. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Ladysmith teen shares knowledge of sea at community marina

Amy Sennett may be only 14 years old but she’s been fascinated with whales and dolphins since a young age and has found a passion with sharing her knowlege of the sea with others.

The teen has been volunteering Tuesday and Thursday for much of August at the Sea Life Centre at the Ladysmith Community Marina.

“I thought volunteering would be a really good idea to get involved,” said Sennett, who also helped out at this summer’s Kids Pirate Day as well as the Heritage Boat Festival.

Sennett said her interest in sea life started with cetaceans and broadened from there as she read more marine biology books at school.

“When I started snorkeling I became interested in other animals that were a lot more easy to find like pipefish, sea stars and nudibranchs,” she said.

She now snorkels close to ferry terminals, public beaches or pretty much anywhere were she can carry her gear to.

At the Sea Life Centre, she’s become an integral part of a volunteer team, welcoming visitors and trying to impart interesting facts about Ladysmith Harbour – the warmest harbour north of San Francisco.

“The mud flats, when they dry up, will actually heat the rest of the water so the animals here have adapted to that,” she said.

Other times she’ll mention the sea star virus, or if they ask about the moon snail shell on display, talk about how people are causing their egg depletion.

Marine biologist and author Rick Harbo has also been a source of knowledge and inspiration for the teen.

“If I don’t know the answers I’ll just look into some of our books which is another way I’ve learned some information,” she said.

Sennett’s also helped the Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society give a presentation to an elementary school this year.

Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Shirley Blackstaff said having Sennett’s help has made for a more “meaningful” interaction with visitors.

“It’s always more meaningful if you have someone at the site,” she said. “Amy knows everything. She’s like a young scientist and she speaks pleasantly and knowledgeably.”

Sennett said she hopes to be pursue a career in conservation.

“The more I go swimming I think it’s interesting that we know so little about (sea life) because it’s so out of reach – we’ve only explored five per cent of the ocean,” she said.

Her last day at the Sea Life Centre is Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Just Posted

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Ladysmith, Stz’uminus celebrate ‘Salish Wind’ unveiling

Ladysmith and Stz’uminus residents gathered together last Wednesday night to witness the… Continue reading

150 flags to be raised at Ladysmith’s Aggie Hall for National Child Day

Ladysmith Family and Friends leads project to have children, but also a few adults, paint 150 flags.

Heavy rainfall causes sinkhole along Ladysmith street

Heavy rainfall and the resulting erosion caused a sinkhole to form early… Continue reading

Second boat sinks in Ladysmith Harbour in less than a month

A boat has sank in Ladysmith Harbour marking the second such incident… Continue reading

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

Naked man arrested in Nanaimo, provided with pants

Suspect arrested for causing disturbance Nov. 13 near Bowen and Northfield roads

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Most Read