The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute opened its doors in 1997 with the mission “To advance the understanding, appreciation and knowledge of the ocean and to encourage the protection and preservation of the marine environment”. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, the importance of facilitating learning about and championing the stewardship of this precious resource is more critical than ever.
Reports on the present condition of the marine environment highlight the threats this complex environment faces, many man-made. Rising sea levels, increasing water temperatures, pollutants, microplastics, coral bleaching and habitat damage to name a few, impact all of us both locally in Bermuda and worldwide. Education is a key component of our mission; by inspiring young Bermudians to learn more about science and in particular the ocean around us, we aim to instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship. BUEI is also an important public resource and provides a forum for the community as a whole and also fosters collaboration between like-minded organisations. Together we can make a difference!
BUEI’s Ocean Discovery Centre is a valued community resource that welcomes tourists and residents 364 days a year to learn more about the ocean and underwater marine environment. In addition to perennial favourites such as the Shipwreck Gallery, Treasure Room and Shell Collection, it has been very exciting to introduce two new state-of-the-art interactive exhibits within the past 18 months; namely the XL Catlin “Living with the Ocean” and America’s Cup “Built to Win”. These modern installations give visitors a hands-on method of acquiring knowledge and complement our more traditional museum fare.
I was honoured to attend the opening of the recently revamped and upgraded simulated submersible experience, Blue Echo, that gives visitors the opportunity to experience the thrill of a deep scientific dive to the ocean floor without getting wet. The commitment to develop new exhibit content continues, and our talented, energetic team is fully engaged and enthusiastic about BUEI’s proprietary Bermuda Triangle Experience, which will be rolled out later this year. Through both Bermuda centred and maritime themes we aim to engage, educate and empower our guests.
The third sector is a key pillar of our island community and BUEI was founded on a commitment to public service, visitor and guest satisfaction, innovation and continued redevelopment. I would like to sincerely thank my fellow Trustees, dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and many advocates for their continued engagement and commitment to fulfilling BUEI’s mission. We are particularly proud to mark BUEI’s twentieth year of serving the Bermuda community this year and look forward to the next 20!
Chair of BUEI