Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have many questions about the impact and viability of such a large-scale project on the Seacoast Region. So we have tried to answer the most common questions here; please scroll down to view.

Will the Earth, Sea and Space Center be funded by my taxes?

The center is not being funded by property or any other kind of taxes. The facility will be funded by private donations, corporate contributions, fund-raising events, grants and membership. Once operational, the museum will be funded by all of these same efforts, plus monies from the gift shop, snack bar, ticket sales and rental of the facility for special events, seminars, workshops and the like.

Will the aquatic exhibits at the center affect our waterways?

The aquarium exhibits at the center will not need outside water supplies to function. The center will not need to withdraw water or discharge water into our waterways. Today's aquariums operate on closed systems. However, for aesthetics and research purposes, it would be nice to have the facility located on a river, bay or other waterway.

Will there be 600,000 cars coming to the center?

The numbers 500,000 and 600,000 refer to the projected number of visitors per year, not the number of cars. However, actual numbers still have not been determined. These numbers come from a preliminary estimate done by the contractors based on the museum being located somewhere in the seacoast. Once we have a specific site, the master plan will evaluate these numbers and provide truer figures.

The second point to clarify is that not all visitors will come by car. Many visitors will be school groups or tour groups who will come on buses. This means the center may have large numbers of visitors without necessarily large numbers of cars. Another point to consider is that offering shuttle bus and trolley service to the center has also always been part of the plan. Depending on where the museum is finally sited, visitors may also arrive by water taxi service or train.

Will the road to the center be a parking lot during commuter times?

This is very unlikely. Most commuter traffic is in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening hours. The Earth, Sea and Space Center will not even open until 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Most visitors coming to the center will be arriving after the morning commute, and most will be leaving before the 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. evening commute. Also, as previously mentioned, many visitors will be using public transport of some kind.

The second point to consider is that the museum's heavy tourism traffic will be during weekends from September to end of May, when work commutes are not taking place. During the weekdays, most visitors will be on school buses. The volume of visitors will be high, but the number of vehicles will be smaller. Weekday tourist visitation will not become more significant until after schools are out in mid June. This will continue through Labor Day, when schools begin. But again, even during the busy summer months, visitors will arrive after the morning commute.

Again, the master plan and concept study will look at traffic issues closely, and recommend strategies.

Will the Earth, Ocean, Space Center be bad for existing attractions?

According to other studies done by the companies involved in our plans, local attractions usually benefit when a larger attraction comes in, as long as they are all telling different stories. This is what our facility will do. The master plan and concept study will examine these competition issues for this area. However, historically, having a significant "destination attraction" is usually good for business. A larger attraction pulls more people into the area, including people who might not normally have come - hence the name "destination attraction." The larger facility has a greater drawing power then several smaller places combined. Since the museum is designed, like most attractions, to be only a half-day affair, there is still plenty of time to visit other sites in the area. Creating a destination attraction also encourages people to stay the weekend, thereby generating even more opportunities for visiting local attractions, shops and restaurants. This fact, combined with the co-promotions which we are planning to do, increases everyone’s marketing power and attendance.

Can such a facility possibly succeed on the Seacoast?

The preliminary studies show that the seacoast is viable for a major attraction, and that most likely, someone will build one sooner or later. We believe that if this is the case, why not have something that will have fantastic educational and environmental benefits, and boost the region’s economy? Why not have something that will create a significant number of professional jobs, not just seasonal minimum-wage jobs?

The research that gave us our preliminary numbers was done by Wetzel Associates, one of the world’s renowned aquarium and firms. Wetzel has been involved in nearly every major aquarium built in recent years. They looked at current and projected demographic numbers; current and projected tourism numbers; proximity to major highways, and nearness to other significant attractions. Their preliminary conclusion was that the region could support an attraction at least as big as the aquarium in Mystic, CT. They also noted that it was key to have a storyline much different than Boston. From this recommendation, our project evolved into the Earth, Sea and Space Center--we added the science museum component to our initial aquarium plans. Our contractors have worked with the New England Aquarium, and some local centers, so we are guaranteed that any exhibits and storylines will be very different from those of existing attractions. The key thing remaining is for the people of the seacoast to believe in this project.

For more information on the project, call 603-436-7778.

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