TAMPA — The Florida Aquarium unveiled a new underwater dive experience called SeaTrek Saturday morning.
The program aims to expose underserved communities to marine and natural wildlife.
"We exist to save wildlife from extinction. We exist to make our world and natural wildlife a better place," said Florida Aquarium CEO Roger Germann. "But we also want to make sure we can connect as many people as we can to the underwater world."
Terrence McMillen visits the Florida Aquarium often. Every time that experience has been the same until today.
"I thought we were just going to do a walk around," said McMillen.
The 12-year-old and his friend 11-year-old Calvin Paul were among the first to dive into the Aquarium as part of the SeaTrek program.
"I didn't know that turtle was going to be that big," he shared about his underwater experience.
An unforgettable one for both friends who have never been surrounded by sea life like this before.
Helping them throughout their underwater tour was Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. She says this gives youth from some communities access to the aquatic world they may not have had before.
"You never know what light that (program) may light within them or skill. They may become marine biologist based on the experience they have today," said Castor.
The program was designed to make everyone feel special.
No swimming experience is required and guests as young as 10 years old are welcome.
"It made me want to do it again," said Calvin Paul.
Just like that, a 20-minute underwater tour has created a bond and appreciation for marine life and our world beneath the surface.
The public can learn more about SeaTREK and book the underwater experience by clicking here.