At Dieppe, the Cité de la mer expands

By refurbishing its premises, the Cité de la mer in Dieppe is enhancing its pedagogical vocation: to disseminate and popularize the sciences and techniques characteristic of the Channel coast.

Environment and Biodiversity

Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France

Gilles Tourolle

10 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/04/03

Project leader


"The Estran association, founded in 1986 during the decommissioning of one of Dieppe's principal shipyards, to rescue what could serve as testimony of the maritime history of the city, has developed numerous activities since then, focused around the sea, all shining models of respect for the environment."
Gilles Tourolle

How have shipbuilding techniques and materials evolved? How were the chalk cliffs and shingle beaches so characteristic of the shoreline of Upper Normandy formed? What types of fishing are practised in the region? The museum of the sea in Dieppe answers all these questions and many more. Created on the initiative of the Estran association (Scientific and technical space for aquatic resources and navigation), this venue is the object today of a major refurbishing project. After 10 years of existence, its museographic allure needs to be brightened and its premises adapted to the new standards in force.

The program calls for the external renovation of the buildings, access arrangements for persons with reduced mobility, improved traffic flows and capacity for accommodating groups in connection with thematic activities... More space will also be devoted to fishing and navigation. Simultaneously, a new space will be dedicated to the coastal environment and sustainable development.


From 7 000 to 50 000 visitors per year

Thanks to these changes, the museum should significantly increase the number of its visitors while consolidating its pedagogical credentials. Estran, already approved by the Youth and Sports Ministry, has decided to install a second lecture auditorium to welcome more school classes and propose more group tours, staffed by association personnel. A documentation center has also been inaugurated, and is run by a professional documentalist.

With its 1650 m2 floor space, the Cité de la mer is an important cultural popularization tool for the region. It represents the most visible facet of the Estran association, which also includes workforce development, a cleanup brigade for the shore, cliff tops and customs trails, and finally, a Center for research, innovation and transfer of technology.

By making a grant of 10 000 euros, the Veolia foundation is engaging with this comprehensive project, which is part of the contract of the Dieppe maritime built-up area and which mobilizes the Upper Normandy region, the general council of Seine-Maritime, and the French State.