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"Wash your car on your lawn instead of your driveway. The dirt and plants help filter the soapy water. Remember, the ocean begins at your front door!"

Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Cooperative (GAMS)

The Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Cooperative (GAMS)
is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a Marine Centre on the western shore of Cape Breton Island. The Gulf Marine Centre supports the three core missions of GAMS: Research on fisheries, resources, and ecosystems in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; Community building, through public forums, events, and citizen-science; and Education for all ages about the bountiful marine environment the local waters contain!

What's New at GAMS

Check out our Event Calendar for a full list of upcoming events!

Marine Explorers Summer Camp 2018

GAMS is excited to announce that the Marine Explorers summer camp will be taking place during the week of August 6-10th, 2018. We'll spend the first day at the Discovery Centre in Grand Etang Harbour, and spend the rest of our week using the beautiful school house on Cheticamp Island.

As usual:
Ages 4-9:         9am-12pm
Ages 10-14:     1-4pm

Please register before July 30th, by emailing, or sending us a message on Facebook. Camp fees will be collected at the Discovery Centre August 6th half an hour before camp on Monday, August 6th. 

The cost will be $125 for the week.

Marine Interpretive Centre Hours 2018:

TBD - as a non-profit, GAMS will be opening the Discovery Centre on a volunteer basis. Follow our Facebook page to get the latest updates on the Discovery Centre.

Fishermen's Forum

The annual Fishermen’s Forum will be postponed until further notice. Please contact us directly with any inquiries at

BioBlitz Canada 150!

On the weekend of August 12, GAMS participated in BioBlitz Canada 150 at the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Ingonish. GAMS set up an information booth, informing the public about our goals, and also participated in some of the BioBlitz activities. GAMS hosted an event at the freshwater lake, and used the seine net to identify the variety of species in the Freshwater lake! A big thanks goes out to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park for organizing the event, the volunteers, and everyone who participated in the event over the weekend!

Meet our 2017 Staff!

It's been another busy and exciting summer at GAMS, including some new and returning faces!

Justyce Delaney-Smith is back this summer and is once again working for us downstairs in the Marine Interpretive Centre. Justyce is a local from Margaree, and studies pre-med at the Universite St. Anne's during the school year. We are happy to have him back to show visitors around the centre!

Emma Snowdon comes to us this summer from New Brunswick, where she just finished her second year at Mount Allison University studying Biology. Emma has been helping out with our green crab and water quality research, so you may see her around the harbour checking on our monitoring traps.

Proceedings are now available (2016)!

Click here to see the proceedings from the six annual Fishermen's Forum - Sustaining Fisheries: Challenges and Changes.

Fishermen's Forum is

Getting Some Press


Keep your eye out for the articles about the Fishermen's Forum in the latest additions of the Inverness Oran, and in the January edition of the Navigator Magazine!


Thank You for the Great Discussions at the

2016 Fishermen's Forum!

This year's Forum turned out wonderfully, with 74 attendees the first day, 52 the second, 24 presenters, and lots of honest, and innovative discussions on things like bait, groundfish, sustaining coastal communities, and aquaculture.

Proceedings are posted above.


Café Scientifiques

Café Scientifiques originate in the UK, and are a monthly opportunity where scientists can make their research known to the general public in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, usually at a bar, or cafe. Here in Grand Etang, La Centre de la Mi-Carême is pairing up with GAMS to host two guest speakers doing research on species such as lobster, predatory fish, and turtles. The cost is free, and there will be refreshments! Talks start at 7pm.

1) Friday 29th July, 2016 - Oceans of Change; Lobsters in a warm and acidified ocean
Dr. Dan Small from St. F.X.

2) August 17th - Monitoring diadromous fish of the Gulf with a focus on Striped Bass
Dr. Cindy Breau, DFO

3) Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 - Green Crab Research
Dr. Gretchen Hull - Centre de la Mi-Careme, G. Etang Harbour.

Thank you to our visitors, campers, volunteers, and to our fishermen that donated deep-sea creatures for a great season!

The Faces of the Gulf Marine Centre 2016
Come on in, and visit us downstairs in the Marine Interpretive Centre. Our touch tank and larger tank is brimming with life!

Meet our 2016 employees:

Graham RipleyGraham Ripley is our summer Co-op student going into his fourth year of Marine Biology at Dalhousie University. He is working on a project monitoring green crab populations in the Cheticamp and Grand Etang Harbours. If you see him around, feel free to ask him questions. He can tell you lots about the green crabs. His interests include phylogeny (evolutionary classification of living species), and drawing.

Jensen PoirierJensen Poirier is one of two students working in the Marine Interpretive Centre downstairs at GAMS. She's a native of Cheticamp, and is very familiar with the lobster and crab fisheries. She's also been visiting, and volunteering at GAMS since she was 9. Her favourite part of the job is playing in the touch tanks with kids. Unfortunately for GAMS, she will be focusing on her carpentry career in the fall at NSCC Port Hawksbury, but she promises to come and volunteer when she's home.

Justyce Delaney-Smith
Justyce Delaney-Smith
is our fourth and final student working for us downstairs in the Marine Interpretive Centre. Justyce is a local from Margaree, and will be heading to Universite St. Anne's in the fall to start a pre-med program. We keep him busy here with teaching Amanda and Jensen the french words for the critters of our tanks ;).

Geological Treasure Hunts

Our Geological Treasure Hunts will continue next summer. Meet us every Wednesday at the Marine Centre, starting at 11am! Dr. Gretchen Hull will take a walk down the Grand Etang Beach to help you discover more about the fascinating rocks found all over this side of Cape Breton.

Press Release!

Click here to see the newspaper press release about last year's Fishermen's Forum 2015!

The 2015 Fishermen's Forum was a huge success

Thank you to everyone who participated, and all of the sponsors that allowed for this great event to happen. Check out the final Proceedings from the Forum, PowerPoint presentations, and visit our Gallery to see photos from the Forum.

GAMS Hosts Successful "Fishermen's Forum 2014:Conversations on Climate Change"
GAMS is pleased to announce that the Fishermen's Forum 2014: Conversations on Climate Change was a great success! The event was held at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury. The event will began with a social on November 6, 2014 with the full day workshop on November 7, 2014. Breakfast and lunch was provided at the workshop. See the workshop website for more information and to read post-workshop reports!

Final Design of Gulf Marine Centre Completed!

In 2015, GAMS received the final design of the Gulf Marine Centre! Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and creativity of Trifos Design Consultants, Tenji Inc., and MCarroll Consulting, we have a fantastic design to look forward to and a vision to inspire us as we continue working to make the Gulf Marine Centre a reality! To see some illustrations of the future Centre, click here!

Gulf Marine Centre to be designed by Trifos Design Consultants, Tenji Inc., and MCarroll Consulting!

With the help of our Co-op Challenge prize, GAMS has taken a giant leap towards our goal of building a Marine Centre in Grand Etang! We have entered into an agreement with Trifos Design Consultants, MCarroll Consulting, and Tenji Inc. for the design of a Marine Centre that will inspire, educate, and breathe new life into Grand Etang! Click here to read more!

Climate Change Project
Cheticamp and surrounding communities was the site of a two-year project to study how climate change will impact the fisheries and tourism sectors in Western Cape Breton, and develop new tools to help the community prepare for change....Read more