The Bonne Bay Marine Station is a joint initiative of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and the Gros Morne Cooperating Association (GMCA) in Norris Point, NL, a small community located in an outstanding setting within the boundaries of Gros Morne National Park. Each summer, the Bonne Bay Marine Station opens its doors to roughly 11000 visitors from school classes, bus tours, community groups and the general public through its public education program. The primary mandate of the public program is to promote understanding and appreciation of the marine environment and marine research through first-hand experiences. The program emphasizes learning through personal discovery: visitors see live organisms close up in display aquaria, and can handle live specimens in the touch tank. All visitors are taken on a guided tour through the upstairs viewing area, central lobby and aquarium, where they view a wide variety of the sea life from Bonne Bay, learn about the biology and ecology of these organisms, their importance in the NL fishery and culture, and discover how scientists at the Memorial University learn more about the ocean through research.
The Quick Start fund helped support a project that brought local fisherman into the Bonne Bay Marine Station for several hours daily during the months of July and August of 2015. Local fishermen were set up in a publicly accessible area where they will spent time making fishing nets while engaging with tourists and community members. The Bonne Bay Marine Station provided the netting and the fishermen brought twine and other material. The fishermen were able take the nets with them at the end of the summer as a thank you for their participation in the program.