• Lack of research and monitoring of our aquatic ecosystems has reached rock bottom, leaving us ill prepared for facing uncertainties to the future health of our waters and being poorly prepared to make informed decisions about how to address such changes.

  • Changes in our demographics over the last fifteen years have led to an approximately 30% decrease in our numbers of young children and teenagers and a more-or-less equivalent increase in our population of seniors.

  • Our local economy struggles to maintain year-round employment because of the seasonal drop of at least 50% in our trade revenues over the winter months, when many businesses are forced to reduce hours or close down in order to survive.  Coupled with declining school enrolment, this deters young families from settling in Pender Harbour.

pods strategies

Set in the heart of Pender Harbour, PODS will help shed light on the rich biodiversity of marine and freshwater life of the Salish Sea and the many estuaries, lakes, creeks, and wetlands of the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

At PODS, we will take action to protect, restore, and enhance aquatic habitats, and species-at-risk, and to mitigate threats to biodiversity through stewardship, enhancement, and restoration activities and the creation of protected areas.

PODS will welcome visitors of all ages to take part in research and monitoring programs, field schools, internships, co-ops, workshops, conferences, cultural programs, and international exchanges in a safe and fulfilling environment.

PODS will attract university researchers from around the world to conduct groundbreaking research to find elegant solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time through high quality science and well-informed decision-making.

PODS will become a model for establishing a network of similar research facilities along the entire West Coast of British Columbia.


  • A Beautiful, Interactive Subterranean Freshwater and Marine Aquarium

  • A Spiritual, Cultural, Scientific, Enlightening and Creative Environment

  • Opportunities to Interact Intimately with Marine and Freshwater Animals and Plants

  • A Fully Equipped Wet Laboratory Classroom for School Children Designed to Awaken Curiosity

  • Three Fully Equipped Marine and Freshwater Research and Monitoring Laboratories

  • Partnerships with University Research Projects involving Scientific Exploration

  • Conference and Symposium Facilities Catering for up to 200 Delegates

  • Local Accommodation and Transport Vacation Packages to Boost the Local Economy

  • Full AV and Cinematic Entertainment Facilities to Enrich Experiences for All Ages

  • Two Outdoor Children's Amphitheatre Classrooms to Inspire Young Naturalists

  • Nature School and Aqua School Programs Making Science Accessible for All Ages
  • Quality Performance Spaces for Festivals, Concerts, Cultural Events and Theatre Shows

  • A PODS Gift Shop, offering High Quality Gifts and Souvenirs

  • A Comfortable Café, Licensed Restaurant and Community Learning and Gathering Spaces

  • An Online PODS Store to Promote Sustainability and Boost Local Revenues

  • The Jim Rossi School of Diving – a diving school for young people

  • Island and Inland Nature Tours Providing Jobs for Local Guides

  • Environmental Monitoring and Citizen Science Programs

  • Improved Quality of Life for All Involved


  • A Centre of Excellence with Major University Affiliation in the Heart of Pender Harbour

  • A Reason for Young Families to Set Up Home in Pender Harbour

  • A Reason for High School Graduates to Stay in Pender Harbour

  • A Place that Inspires Young Students to Pursue The Natural Sciences

  • An Iconic State-of-the-Art, Net-Zero Energy Facility on the Sunshine Coast

  • A Beautiful Meeting Place for Entertaining Yourselves and Your Guests

  • An Online PODS Portal to Make Booking Events and Visits a One-Stop Hassle-Free Pleasure

  • Price Reductions for Seniors, Children and Student Groups

  • Membership Concessions for All Those who Sign Up

  • The Value of Professional Scientists and Performing Artists Working Here for Our Benefit

  • Helpful Volunteers and Staff Eager to Assist and Seek for Your Feedback

  • Maps and Interpretive Leaflets giving Details of Times and Locations of Events and Activities

  • Facilities that are Designed to be Easily Accessible for All Needs

  • A Regular Boat Shuttle Service from Downtown Madeira Park to Reduce Highway Traffic

  • Public Transport Facilities that will Link to PODS and Reduce Carbon Emissions

  • A Revitalized, Sustainable Business Community in Madeira Park that can Open Year Round

  • A Deepened Relationship with our Cultural Heritage and Connection to Sechelt (shíshálh) and Coast Salish Nations

  • Connections with Local and International Research Projects 

  • Opportunities to Explore Relationships between the Arts and Sciences
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