2017 has been declared the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the General Assembly of the United Nations. NAUSICAA, (the French National Sea Experience Centre) is fully supporting the initiative and has made it a key subject in a number of presentations, talks and special events in 2017. Each month, NAUSICAA will focus on a different aspect of the topic and invites visitors to learn more about sustainable tourism through its agenda, events and press trips.

Based in Boulogne-sur-Mer on the Opal Coast, Hauts de France, NAUSICAA is uniquely focused on the exploration of the marine environment. With giant aquariums and using the latest technology, NAUSICAA creates an entertaining, educational and scientific setting for discovery.

Here's what's coming up:

April - Marine mammals. Along the coastline of the Hauts de France region you can see more than 20 species of marine mammals including seals, dolphins and even humpback whales. In April NAUSICAA will put citizen sciences in the spotlight to encourage observation and living in harmony.

 6-23 April: 26th Festival of Sea Imagery. A rare chance to see some of the world's most stunning underwater images, admire the wealth of the ocean and gain insight into the importance of preserving it.

15 April: Grand Easter egg hunt. Gather at Le Noirda beach in the charming fishermen's village of Audresselles and help collect conservation data by searching for “mermaids' purses” in a ray egg hunt.

May: NAUSICAA will highlight sustainable tourism and eco-responsible holidays on the Opal Coast. With coastal nature reserves, a regional country park, a marine park, Cap Gris Nez and Cap Blanc - two areas of environmental interest, plus the Somme Bay, this is a region of exceptional natural beauty.

8 June: World Oceans Day. NAUSICAA, is a founding member of establishing this crucial awareness day, and will in particular highlight the level of plastic pollution in the oceans through a range of events, workshops and meetings.

July-August: The Tropics. An exhibition aiming to present ways in which everyone can make a contribution to sustainable tourism.

Throughout the year sustainability will be a permanent showcase in the tropical Mangrove area of the museum. The areas will also welcome new animals such as land hermit crabs, Atlantic mudskippers and Kaho stick insects.