MLSS proudly holds the distinction of leading Citizen Science efforts that have resulted in the discovery, research and protection of glass sponge reefs in Howe Sound. We accomplish this through government collaboration, pubic outreach, and the recruitment and coordination of in-kind and cash community contributions. Our volunteers are scientists, professional divers, and motivated members of the community. As the campaign lead the campaign for glass sponge reef protection in Howe Sound, MLSS provided input and advice to local, provincial and federal regulators and collaborated with other community groups to achieve greater protection for underwater ecosystems in Howe Sound, including the glass sponge reefs.
Over the past two decades, MLSS teams discovered and mapped the majority of sponge reefs on the seafloor and identified the locations and formations of these important ecosystems. Leading this charge was the MLSS past president, Glen Dennison, who has volunteered countless hours and boat time towards the mapping of these reefs. The most significant accomplishment of these efforts has been the protection of eight Marine Refuge Conservation Areas in Howe Sound in 2019. We are not done yet- new glass sponge reef discoveries and important areas for rockfish still require protection in Howe Sound and we remain active to achieve that protection.