Michael Creed TD Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine officially opened Ireland's first marine science gallery at Galway City Museum today, Thursday 18 May 2017.
"Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition is Ireland's first sea science gallery to have audio and visual displays accessible in both English and as Gaeilge.
The interactive exhibition spans a variety of topics including the nature of how tides operate, multi-beam mapping, deep sea exploration and marine life along the seashore. The basic principles of marine science are communicated in a fun and engaging way, using a combination of digital interactive touchscreens, hands-on-exhibits, holograms and high-definition video footage.
Minister Creed said, "I'm delighted to officially open Ireland's first marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, an exhibition that both strengthens our maritime identity and raises awareness about our oceans.
For an island nation like Ireland, the sea has particular importance to our history and culture, as well as supporting a diverse marine economy. Our ocean is a valuable source of food, a gateway for shipping and means of transport, as well as supporting diverse ecosystems. For many of Ireland's coastal communities, our ocean also offers tourism and leisure opportunities which contribute to our health and wellbeing.
Our ocean is indeed a vital resource, and it is imperative to cultivate an interest in our oceans from a young age. This "Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition will educate our younger population and the general public, about the value and opportunities provided by our sea. Through both English and Irish interactive displays, future generations will be encouraged to explore, protect, manage and sustainably develop our national resource."
Dr Peter Heffernan CEO of the Marine Institute said, "Ireland has a rich maritime heritage, from a seafaring history to researching and preserving our marine environment. Our ocean is a national asset and a key aspect of Ireland's marine plan Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth is to ensure our marine resource generates social, cultural and economic benefits for all our citizens.
To realise Ireland's marine potential, it's incredibly important to have an ocean literate society – a population that has a strong understanding of the marine environment and how it impacts our everyday lives.
To understand the value of our oceans, citizens need to engage with the marine environment from a young age. This exhibition provides a stimulating learning environment for children to discover the mysteries and science of our oceans, and to also inspire our next generation of marine entrepreneurs, explorers and scientists," Dr Heffernan said.
The installation of this permanent "Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition at Galway City Museum will enable children, school groups and all members of the public to engage with the ocean year-round.
As well as officially opening "Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition, Minister Creed officially launched SeaFest 2017, Ireland's national maritime festival.
SeaFest 2017, one of Ireland's most popular summer festivals, will attract thousands of visitors to Galway Harbour from Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July. The three day festival will include a host of family friendly attractions and entertainment that celebrates the sea, including "Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition.
"Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" is a free exhibition and is a partnership between the Marine Institute and Galway City Museum.
For more images of "Sea Science - the Wild Atlantic" exhibition, click here