Marine education non-profit hopeful for new location in Dartmouth
Back to the Sea has operated on a small scale since 2017
February 16, 2023, 1:17 pm ASTLast Updated: February 17, 2023, 9:27 pm
Magali Grégoire fell in love with mini aquariums when she worked at one in Petty Harbour, N.L., in 2013. Now she is running a growing marine education non-profit that is looking for a new location in Dartmouth.
Grégroire is the executive director and founder of Back to the Sea Society, an organization that works to expose young people to marine life. When she moved to Halifax in 2015, she said she learned people had been wanting an aquarium in Halifax for decades.
“We’re five years in now, and the community support has been really wonderful,” said Grégoire. “We really feel like we’ve made our place in downtown Dartmouth.”
Back to the Sea started with a touch tank hut at Alderney Gate for the past few years and has applied to HRM for a below-market-value lease to operate a larger and more permanent facility.
“It has always been great as a little pilot project, but we know that people want to be able to see more ocean life,” said Grégoire.
At an HRM grants committee meeting on Monday, District 3 Coun. Becky Kent moved for Back to the Sea to receive a $1 per year lease at 140 Alderney Dr.
“I had the pleasure of meeting with the folks from Back to the Sea a couple of times. They’ve done some interactive workshops around the different communities in District 3,” Kent said.
“Whatever they do down here can be a model for different locations within the municipality.”
Grégoire said the organization is happy to see things moving forward. “The goal is to have two large touch tanks. But because we have more space we’re also going to have like a kid’s corner with activities.”
As well, they will have an educational exhibit about sharks and a community feedback section to help them fully realize their goals.
The lease will now go to regional council for final approval before Back to the Sea moves to its new location this summer.
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