Our mission was to prevent the construction of this wholly unnecessary Ozeanium! The multi-million dollar marine aquarium project was not in line with Basel’s forward-looking spirit and was entirely unreconcilable with its aim of becoming a 2,000-watt-society.
And this is precisely why Fondation Franz Weber launched the campaign “NOzeanium – Say NO to the Ozeanium!”. Blazing a trail in the fight against the ludicrous 100-million-francs project, Foundation Franz Weber put every effort into convincing the Grand Council of Basel to oppose the construction of the “Ozeanium”.
Despite intensive work by the foundation to educate and raise awareness, on 17 October 2018 the Grand Council of Basel-City declared their support for the construction of the “Ozeanium”. Fondation Franz Weber immediately arranged for a referendum against this decision. Together with environmental organisations, marine conservationists, experts, and many other motivated supporters, we were able to collect nearly 5,000 signatures within the canton’s referendum deadline and submitted these to the Basel-City State Chancellery on 28 November 2018.
On 15 December 2018, the State Chancellery published the result of the signature verification:
4,649 people had signed for a referendum against the “Ozeanium”. It was therefore clear: the “Ozeanium”-project was going to be put to the vote in the canton of Basel-City (see press release from 21 December 2018).
Hence, on 19 May 2019, the eligible voters of Basel said NO to the “Ozeanium” by 54.56% to 45.44%. This vote was based on sound judgement and moral progress. The people of Basel have delivered a strong message to the global community: “We must protect the oceans where they are.” (see press release from 19 May 2019)