October 16, 2013 8:19 pm
Updated: October 16, 2013 10:13 pm

Glass sponge reefs sparkle on B.C.’s ocean floor

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An expedition to the bottom of the Strait of Georgia to see a sea creature believed to be extinct for 40 million years.

B.C. is the only place in the world where you’ll find glass sponge reefs, discovered first in Hecate Strait in 1987, and more recently in 2001 in the Strait of Georgia.

The people studying these unique creatures say they need protection, and soon.

Chris Gailus joined a submarine expedition to B.C.’s ocean floor to explore the extraordinary glass sponge reefs found only in the depths of our coastal waters.

British Columbia is the only place in the world where reef building glass sponges have been found.

Prior to their discovery, scientists only knew of glass sponge reefs from fossil records; they were thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs.

The sponges and reefs are very fragile and easily damaged by fishing gear and anchors.

Go to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society B.C. Chapter website for more information.

Watch the News Hour tonight for more on this story

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