West Coast Aquatic Stewardship Association was created in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens in order preserve, protect and enhance aquatic species and their habitat. In the last three years, the organization has conducted over a million dollars of habitat restoration projects, as well as salmon enhancement projects. The four main pillars of the organization are habitat restoration, species enhancement, protection, education and stewardship. The Alberni Aquarium was developed under the Education branch and opened on May 1st, 2016. The goal of the Aquarium is to celebrate the beauty of the region.