A different approach to the sea

At the edge of the Big Blue, the Centre de découverte du monde marin (Center for the discovery of the marine environment) association will be inviting children experiencing difficulties to come explore the coast and the sea bed alongside their peers experiencing fewer problems. A human and social objective coupled with an environmental goal: respect for an exceptional environment.

Environment and Biodiversity

Nice and Villefranche-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France

Gilles Rousseaux

30,000 € over two years to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28
  Project leader Centre de découverte du monde marin

«  This project’s unique angle is its introduction to the sea and its environment for underprivileged and handicapped children. These young people have little opportunity to enjoy such an experience as this. »

Gilles Rousseaux

The sea... some children, even if they live close to the coast, are often very unfamiliar with its extraordinary riches and the opportunities it provides.
To improve this situation and prompt these future adults into a deeper understanding and so built better respect for it, the Centre de découverte du monde marin association in Alpes-Maritimes (France), established two Nature Discovery Clubs at end 2005, one in Nice and the other in Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Kayaking and sailing to discover the coast

Primarily designed for underprivileged children and young handicapped people, in particular the sight-impaired, these two clubs aim to help them learn about the coast and the marine environment, its flora and fauna, but also all the human activities that it supports: fishing, boat building, etc.
This association, approved by the French Ministry of Education for organizing extra-curricular activities, wanted to make this an exemplary activity in terms of sustainable development criteria. Thus, primarily sea kayaks and sailing will be used to explore the coast, companies involved in environmental protection will be visited or associated with the project, and joint operations are planned with leading establishments in the region: Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, Villefranche-sur-Mer Oceanological Observatory, and Phœnix Floral Park. Also, the young people will be asked to use and create teaching documents and tools for various audiences: during their work and exploration of the coast, they will also learn to respect the rules of living in society. Thanks to the various activities in these two clubs, a minimum of two group leader positions have been created.
Alongside several municipalities won over by the idea, the Veolia foundation is providing its support in the form of a 30,000-euro grant over two years.