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Downeast Horizons goes ‘nature cruising’

For Downeast Horizons, the trip is more than just an opportunity to take a  nature cruise. The...
For Downeast Horizons, the trip is more than just an opportunity to take a nature cruise. The organization relies heavily on donations throughout the year to make trips like this possible, and says the donations always come through.(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
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BANR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - Here’s something to smile about!

Downeast Horizons does a variety of activities over the course of the summer, including the Autism Walk and a September ‘Color Fun Run.’ But Thursday was a day of boat leisure for the organization, and a chance to take in all the natural beauty the coast of MDI has to offer.

It was one of the longer lines you’ll see for the nature cruise in Bar Harbor, and it was made up of people from Belfast, Gouldsboro, Dover Foxcroft, and anywhere in between. All clients and staff from Downeast Horizons, who came to play tourist for the day, in downeast Maine’s premier tourist destination.

“People with developmental disabilities and their staff who may not have the opportunity to do something like this, we feel is really important to let them experience Maine the way Mainers who have the ability to do it can,” said Downeast Horizons Executive Director Anthony Zamrano.

For Downeast Horizons, the trip is more than just an opportunity to take a  nature cruise. The organization relies heavily on donations throughout the year to make trips like this possible, and says the donations always come through.

“It’s a community inclusion thing,” Zambrano said. “People who have a little bit extra give to us and then we in turn give back to these folks so they can experience this for free.”

They apparently also rely heavily on WABI meteorologists, according to Ray Quimby from Brewer.

“I want to say thank you to Curt Olson for giving us beautiful weather today,” Quimby said. “Because I thought it was gonna rain!”

While seals and bald eagles are pretty great, Downeast Horizons said they’re not even the best part of the trip.

“Just seeing the smiles on their faces,” said Zambrano. “You know, these people are so grateful of every opportunity we give them. Yes, we rent the whole boat, but nevertheless, some of them have challenges that might be a little more difficult for them to do it by themselves, so we’re here to help them enjoy a wonderful day in the sun, on the ocean.”

If you’d like to get involved with Downeast Horizons or make a donation toward future activities, visit their website at dehi.org.

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