The idea for the Blue Ocean Discovery Center originated with Cathy Silver, a teacher at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton who had grown up in Hampton. While walking the beach, she saw the impacts of litter and the way marine creatures were handled in local tide pools. She often stopped to talk with children about the need to leave tide pool animals where they were found, and thought there was a need for a nature center at the beach to teach visitors about the importance of the marine environment.
Cathy started working with us through the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup, and a two-year campaign to reduce dog waste on New Hampshire beaches. She asked if we would be interested in working with her to bring the idea of a nature center to fruition. We had been conducting regular beach cleanups at Hampton Beach for years and knew how highly impacted the beach was from human activity.
Soon after, the State began redeveloping the Sea Shell stage area at Hampton Beach. The State opened a retail store near the stage in a new building, but two years later decided to offer the space to an organization that would enhance education and outreach at the beach.
In June 2013, the Blue Ocean Discovery Center was born, and we’ve received more than 50,000 visitors since then. It’s the only facility of its kind in the heart of Hampton Beach, and we’re proud to be able to offer this family-friendly activity that can augment other activities such as swimming, playing on the beach, and exploring Hampton Beach’s arcades and shops.
Join us at our Blue Ocean Discovery Center – the marine life in our touch tanks changes often, and we have new educational exhibits and activities all the time!