• In September of 2005, following a number of years of pre-planning, Central Cape Breton Community Ventures Inc. (CCBCVI) entered into a memorandum of agreement with Cape Breton University (CBU) that they would work collaboratively towards the establishment of the Àros na Mara Marine Science Centre to be situated at Iona, on the Barra Strait, Cape Breton Island. The origin for the business presents the culmination of a number of years of planning for the Àros na Mara Marine Science Centre.
    The organization’s key accomplishments to date include the following:
  • Ownership and continuing upkeep and maintenance of the Iona Port wharf facility over a twenty year period
  • Attained funding for the successful completion of the Àros na Mara Prospectus, an in-depth scientific and economic proposal for the development of a Marine Science Research Centre, for the purpose of marine research, education, and tourism.
  • Attained funding towards the erection of an 1,800 sq. ft. Multi-purpose Centre, (and additional ancillary buildings at site) to improve visitor experience
  • Facility became an official water-access point in 2017 for the marine component of the Trans- Canada Trail (TCT) on the Barra Strait. Currently, it provides kayak storage, community farmers markets, and a quasi-marine research facility
  • The site and facility is a significant point of attraction at the nexus of the UNESCO Bras d ‘Or Lake Biosphere Reserve
  • Centre for CCBCVI’s annual World Ocean’s Day (WOD) Festival since 2016
  • Currently the Iona Port Wharf is a designated site for Cape Breton Weather Mesonet.
    • Host to Bluenose II Tours since 2016 (over 1500 visits daily)
    • Host to Celtic Colours International Festival events (showcasing Bras d’Or Lake)
    • Received 2016 CEPI (Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative) Golden Community Group Award for its work within the community and dedication to the Bras d’Or Lake