Professor John Cortes. / SUR

Gibraltar inaugurates a new Marine Interpretation Centre

The new centre is at Europa Point, and although at present it is only available for school visits, it will be opening to the public very soon

Debbie Bartlett
DEBBIE BARTLETT

The Minister for the Environment, Professor John Cortes, officially opened Gibraltar's new Marine Interpretation Centre a few days ago.

The facility has been designed by technical staff from the Department of the Environment and it builds on the existing and hugely successful Tovey Cottage Interpretation Centre which stands in the heart of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve.

This new marine interpretation centre is situated beside the children's park at Europa Point, and those involved in its creation describe it as an ideal platform to showcase the extraordinary biodiversity in the Gibraltar Marine Reserve, as well as the habitats, species and heritage assets found at Europa Point generally.

The centre has been equipped with a number of digital displays to provide interactive content on the rich variety of flora, fauna and invertebrates that can be seen in the area, and includes excellent footage of some of the marine life off Gibraltar, including cetaceans.

The Marine Centre is available to schools that would like their pupils to receive educational talks from the Department of the Environment, or those who would find the site useful as a base for their project-based learning activities.

It is ideally located for this, because of the new outdoor interpretation centre and green area at Europa Point, where there are numerous information panels. It is also in close proximity to places of interest such as Harding's Battery, Nun's Well and other historical sites.

The plan is to open the centre in the near future to members of the public and visitors alike who are interested in learning about all the things that make up Gibraltar's unique natural environment, in particular bird migration and the marine environment.

At the inauguration of the centre, Professor Cortes said he was very excited about the project, and Senior Environment Officer Stephen Warr explained some of the technical process involved in setting it up, and said that it is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the wealth of wildlife in Gibraltar, not only in its waters but also on land at Europa Point, which is home to a very wide variety of species.