Oregon Coast Aquarium launches “The Sea and Me” program for kids May 26 & 27

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May 032012
 


OCA graphic

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is officially launching it’s ‘The Sea and Me’ program that Earth Day visitors got a sneak preview of late last month. It’s a fun, interactive program aimed at children between the ages of 4 and 10, although it’s fun for the whole family. ‘The Sea and Me’ debuts at the aquarium May 26th and 27th. Here’s more. Click here.

Earth Day at Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Apr 102012
 


Heron – Cindy Hanson photo
Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will celebrate Earth Day Saturday, April 21 with a variety of earth-friendly activities and exhibitors. The event will include children’s crafts, face painting and information booths offering information on animals, invasive species and native plants. Visitors can enjoy organic snacks, green powered smoothies and free tree saplings. The event is free with the price of admission from 10 am to 4 pm.

Exhibitors for Earth Day will spotlight their best and most earth-friendly products. Rooster Plow Farms will offer their popular Goat Milk Soap as well as assorted vinegars, jams and jellies. Lincoln County Master Gardeners will present information about composting and green gardening. Calise Soapworks will be offering soaps, candles and lip balm. There will be a variety of green snacks to enjoy, including samples of organic hummus, salsas, smoothies, vegetarian samples and homemade treats from Depoe Baykery. Thompson’s Sanitary will provide information about recycling and proper disposal of household products. The Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District will share ideas for ocean-friendly gardening and native plants. There will also be information about smart pet choices and invasive animal species.

This year’s Earth Day theme, “Together We Can,” is about individuals coming together and collectively making the world a better place, according to Carmen Morgan, Aquarium Volunteer Services Manager and event organizer. “We hope to emphasize our conservation message in a fun and meaningful way,” said Morgan. “Supporting sustainable practices is one of the simplest and healthiest ways we can, as individuals, make a difference.” Morgan said the entire Aquarium staff is committed to sustainable practices and they want to share what they do and encourage others to do the same.

Some of the Aquarium’s practices include collecting rainwater when possible for use in exhibits, recycling, turning off lights when not in use, turning off computers at night, composting food waste and using it on the grounds as soil, natural landscaping, saving paper by not printing out emails or other documents when possible, utilizing reusable plates and tableware, planting trees and conducting an energy audit to improve on energy usage.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a private, not-for-profit aquatic and marine science educational facility offering a fun and interesting way to learn about Oregon’s unique coastal ecosystem. The Aquarium is dedicated to teaching marine wildlife and ocean conservation through responsible management and exhibition of marine life.

Let your kids hop aboard the Aquarium’s “Sea & Me Submarine!”

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Apr 062012
 


Oregon Coast Aqauarium graphic

When your kids find out about what’s going on at the Oregon Coast Aquarium Memorial Day weekend, don’t be surprised if one of them asks, “Hey Dad, can I get the keys to the submarine?” From the looks of it, it’ll be a lot of fun for not only the kids but for parents as well.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is opening it’s “The Sea & Me” children’s interactive exhibit as part of their Memorial Day weekend activities May 26-28 at their South Beach facility. The opening also celebrates the aquarium’s 20 year anniversary. Opening weekend includes a Saturday performance of “Radio Disney” and a live radio remote with KYTE here in Newport.

Visitors to “The Sea & Me” will dive into the ocean on a submarine, haul in a catch on a fishing boat, dig in the sand for seashore treasures and see, hear and touch some really “cool” animals. And, surprisingly, adults are allowed to tag along and rediscover their own sense of play.

The nearby Fishing Gallery is a child-sized fishing boat outfitted with a wheelhouse and fishing gear. Young explorers can slip on rubber bibs and experience the life of a fisherman in coastal waters while learning where seafood comes from and how it’s caught.

Meanwhile, the aquarium theater will be transformed into a free-play area where children can create their own ocean adventure through discovery boxes filled with “bio-facts’ like shark jaws, whale ballen, ocean books, marine animal costumes and a stage for little ones to act out their own ocean exploits.

The Sea & Me exhibit also offers an opportunity for the whole family to experience one-on-one interaction with sharks and ocean rays. Don’t worry, all safety precautions are well in place! Also, the aquarium’s regular touch pool features ocean bottom and reef critters in the Rocky Shores Gallery.

It’s all waiting for you and your family at the Oregon Coast Aquarium May 26th through the 28th, 9-6!

Celebrate Earth Day at Oregon Coast Aquarium!

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Apr 032012
 



Photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will celebrate Earth Day with lots of fun activities and informative exhibitors for the whole family to enjoy. The day-long events include children’s crafts, face painting and a variety of “earth friendly, green lifestyle” participants from Surfrider Foundation to Smart Pet Choices on invasive species for plants and animals. Enjoy organic munchies, green powered smoothies, free Cedar tree seedlings and so much more…. All with the price of admission.

For information on the Oregon Coast Aquarium, click here.

Join Oregon Coast Aquarium staff at South Beach SOLV Clean-up Saturday, March 31

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Mar 232012
 





SOLV volunteer beach trash picker-uppers

News Release from Oregon Coast Aquarium

Join the Aquarium staff and volunteers as we celebrate clean seas with Oregonians from all over the state by cleaning up our beaches on Saturday, March 31st. The Aquarium will be cleaning up South Beach State Park in Newport. Look for the Aquarium registration table in the parking lot near the beach. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend, although young children should be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times. Please make sure you wear appropriate clothing for this event, which may include a rainproof outer layer, hats and close-toed shoes. For questions, please contact the Aquarium at (541) 867-3474 Monday through Friday during regular business hours or at education@aquarium.org by email.

Volunteers needed at Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Mar 092012
 


Aquarium photo
Release from OCA

The Oregon Coast Aquarium Seeks Adult Volunteers
Spring Training Begins April 7th

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering a variety of volunteer opportunities during Spring volunteer training. In addition to interpretive volunteers, the Aquarium is seeking volunteers to work behind the scenes in facility maintenance, in the gift shop, helping out at special events, assisting the Aquarium exhibits team, and doing clerical work in the administrative offices. Enrollment is open now for Spring Volunteer Training which begins April 7th and continues each Saturday through May 12th from 9 am – 5 pm.

Volunteers working in positions other than interpreters will attend the April 7th date only. Those interested in learning more about marine life and the coastal environment can sign up for interpreter training, which includes a series of lectures and hands-on activities. Volunteers learn about the history of the Aquarium, animal care, coastal habitats and animal biology. They also learn how to share their knowledge with visitors as Aquarium Interpreters.

“Each session we are so fortunate to bring in wonderful new volunteers whose zest for learning is exhibited in their dedication and commitment to volunteering.” said Carmen Morgan, Manager of Volunteer Services. “It is so rewarding to see new volunteers mixing with current volunteers and developing friendships that are a result of the common love for the ocean and its inhabitants.” Morgan said the training offers people an opportunity to share the Aquarium’s mission of educating the public about the coast and its animals, as well as its efforts to protect and conserve marine habitats.

One change that volunteers will see this Spring is that the Aquarium is combining its youth and adult interpretive volunteer training. Upon conclusion of the course, youth and adults will continue to work alongside each other, with slightly different focuses while interpreting in the Aquarium.

Cool Benefits: Benefits include discounts in the gift shop and cafe, free membership (after serving 50 volunteer hours), Aquarium passes, invitations to special events and evening enrichment programs. Volunteers have the satisfaction of expanding their personal marine knowledge while giving something back to the community by supporting the Aquarium.

Find Out More: The Aquarium asks for a one-year commitment of one half-day shift each week, or a half day every other week for people with special needs or who commute long distances. The Spring training classes are held all day from 9 am- 5 pm. Classes run for 6 weeks beginning April 7th through May 12th. A $40 fee is required for materials for interpreter positions. A $20 fee is required for volunteers working in other positions, which covers a uniform piece and materials. Participants in the adult program must be 18 years or older. For adult volunteer training information email Carmen Morgan, Manager of Volunteer Services at volunteer@aquarium.org.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational attraction dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

Fabulous February at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Feb 112012
 

Everyone loves a kiss from Lea the sea lion. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering activities to chase away the winter blues this month, including Valentine’s Day sea lion kisses, a “Pop the Question” special for sweethearts and $5 admission for Lincoln County Residents is being offered on “Wonderful Wednesdays.”
OCA photo

Fabulous February at the Oregon Coast Aquarium
Provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Cindy Hanson

Newport, Oregon–The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering activities to chase away the winter blues this month, including Valentine’s Day sea lion kisses, a “Pop the Question” special for sweethearts and $5 admission for Lincoln County Residents is being offered on “Wonderful Wednesdays.”

“Pop the Question” Special is a unique marriage proposal being offered to would-be grooms or brides looking for a memorable way to pop the question. Two divers emerge from one of the Passages of the Deep tanks holding up a sign asking “Will You Marry Me?” The proposals are available February 11 and 12 at 9:30 am, 10:30 am and 11:30 am. Cost is $75 plus admission. For additional information or reservations, call Kandy Smith at 541-867-3474, ext 5319.

Sea Lion Kisses are being offered February 14 at 10 am and 2 pm. Cost per person is $25 for members and $30 for non members. Ages 8 and up. Reservations can be made by calling (541) 867-3474, Ext. 2313.

“Wonderful Wednesdays” for Lincoln County Residents continues, offering five dollar admission each Wednesday for Lincoln County residents, with proof of residency. Admission price is for all ages; 2 and under are free.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a private, not-for-profit aquatic and marine science educational facility offering a fun and interesting way to learn about Oregon’s unique coastal ecosystem. The Aquarium is dedicated to teaching marine wildlife and ocean conservation through responsible management and exhibition of marine life. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

Oregon Coast Aquarium: Whale Tales go cross-country…

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Dec 202011
 

Info/Photo provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport, Oregon— A new season of outreach is underway as Oregon Coast Aquarium educators travel all over Oregon in their colorful education van, bringing marine science to grade schools throughout the region.

Last week, the Aquarium outreach team took their program to Toledo Elementary School, where enthusiastic students learned to do the “Whale Wiggle” and saw how whales use their baleen to feed, similar to how we might “squish water through our teeth.” “We love the Aquarium,” said Bob Shindelman, Principal of Toledo Elementary School. “Our students ask lots of questions and answer lots of questions. They really know a lot about the marine environment here.” Shindelman said classes from the School visit the Aquarium often to see what’s new.

Because there are many places where students aren’t close to the ocean to be able to experience it, the Aquarium Education Department “takes the shore to their door.” Each school year, the Aquarium’s outreach program goes on the road to reach those students in an effort to foster awareness of the ocean. “Perhaps I’m a little biased being from Eastern Oregon, but I really want to get more schools from the east side of the state involved,” said Jenni Remillard, Aquarium Outreach Coordinator. “These are kids who are much less likely to be able to visit the Aquarium, and it is great to be able to reach them.” Remillard said there are still a few openings for schools in Eastern Oregon.

The assemblies are age-appropriate with “Flippers, Fur and Fun,” “Shark Shenanigans,” “Tales of Whales” and “No Bones About ‘Em” for kindergarten through second grade and “Dressed for Success,” “Sense-ational Sharks,” “What About Whales?” and “From Tubefeet to Tentacles” for third through fifth grade students.

This outreach effort enables the Aquarium to extend its educational services to schoolchildren in rural and other underserved communities, who might not otherwise be able to travel to the coast to visit the Aquarium. In addition to being used for outreach to schools and for offsite teacher workshops, the van is also employed to transport youth volunteers on field excursions and service projects.

The is painted with a mural of marine life found at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Upcoming outreach destinations include eighteen weeks in counties throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The van is made possible by grants from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Trust Management Services, LLC and the Jackson Foundation.

Sea of Lights – Oregon Coast Aquarium through tonight!

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Dec 032011
 

[stream provider=video base=x:/www.newslincolncounty.com/videos/2011/5 flv=sea.360p.flv img=sol.exterior.wide.jpg hd=sea.720p.flv mp4=sea.iPhone.m4v embed=false share=false width=560 height=315 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=med autostart=false /]
Brad Taylor video

Information provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium

Wander the grounds of the Aquarium as you’ve never seen them before – festooned with holiday decorations and tens of thousands of colorful twinkling lights and lighted displays. Our guests can also visit with Santa in his sleigh next to our enormous and beautifully lit Christmas tree while enjoying holiday music by Coastalaires and The Central Coast Chorale Hand Bell Choir. Kids can delight with holiday-themed face-painting while parents take pleasure in shopping the relaxed atmosphere of our Aquarium Gift and Book Store, which provides a huge variety of ocean-related merchandise including apparel, jewelry, toys, books, videos and more.

Admission is $2.00 per person with two items of non-perishable food, pet food or new unwrapped children’s toy. All collected toys will be donated for the Newport Fire Department’s Holiday Toy Drive. ($5.00 per person without food or toy.) Admission is free to members.

This event is great for family members of all ages

Oregon Coast Aquarium: “Sea of Lights” December 2nd and 3rd!

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Nov 302011
 

Oregon Coast Aquarium photo
Sea of Lights
Click photo to enlarge

Story provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will be decked out for the holidays surrounded by a sea of twinkling lights, holiday music, a new photography exhibit and unique gift ideas. The 19th Annual Sea of Lights is a festive holiday celebration Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings. A tradition for many families, visitors come from all over the region during the holiday season to visit the Aquarium, shop and spend time together at the beach. Admission to the Sea of Lights is $2 and two items of non-perishable food, or pet food, or a new unwrapped toy, or $5. Admission is free to members.

At the Sea of Lights, there will be a big lighted tree in the lobby, lots of lighted small trees and thousands of colorful lights outdoors. Guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa while parents snap photos. After visiting with Santa, guests can stroll through a sea of twinkling lights to the sounds of holiday music by the Coastalaires and the Central Coast Chorale. The gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and children’s craft area will be offered.

The Sea of Lights will offer visitors a final chance to see Swampland before it ends January 3, an exhibit that showcases three different types of swamps from the western hemisphere and the animals that live in them, including an American alligator, a giant anaconda and a chance to “swim with the piranhas” in a crawl-through display.

The Sea of Lights also provides an opportunity to see Beauty and the Birds, a photography exhibit featuring birds in their native habitats. The photographers, Susan and Steve Dimock, are Bandon residents who love nature and the Aquarium. Their work features Oregon coast landscapes and birds, including Aquarium puffins. The Aquarium uses the gallery space within the Passages of the Deep exhibit to highlight artwork that shows off the beauty and complexity of the natural environment of the Oregon coast.

In addition to holiday festivities and new exhibits, the Aquarium will also offer a variety of gift ideas for conservation minded visitors. “The Aquarium is a wonderful place to get some unique and lasting gift ideas,” said Libby Scott, Aquarium Development Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you also support the Aquarium and marine conservation.” Scott said the Aquarium is ideal for those looking for a festive and peaceful shopping experience. Continue reading »

Oregon Coast Aquarium’s “A Sea of Lights” coming up December 2nd and 3rd

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Nov 112011
 

OCA Photo

Story provided by Cindy Hanson
Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will be decked out for the holidays surrounded by a sea of twinkling lights, holiday music, a new photography exhibit and unique gift ideas. The 19th Annual Sea of Lights is a festive holiday celebration Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings. It’s a tradition for many families and visitors who come from all over the region during the holiday season to visit the Aquarium, shop and spend time together at the beach. Admission to the Sea of Lights is $2 and two items of non-perishable food, or pet food, or a new unwrapped toy, or $5. Admission is free to members.

Sea of Lights include a grand holiday tree in the lobby, lots of sparkling small trees and thousands of colorful lights outdoors. Guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

After visiting Santa, guests will stroll through a sea of twinkling lights to the sounds of holiday music performed live by the Coastalaires and Women of Note of the Central Coast Chorale along with their handbell choir. The aquarium’s gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and a children’s craft area will be humming with busy little hands.

The Sea of Lights will also offer a chance to see Swampland before it ends January 3, an exhibit that features a fascinating variety of swamps from the western hemisphere and the animals that live in them, including an American alligator, a giant anaconda and a chance to “swim with the piranhas” in a crawl-through exhibit.

The Sea of Lights also showcases ‘Beauty and the Birds,’ a photography exhibit by photographers Susan and Steve Dimock, that captures the essence of our feathery coastal friends as they adorn our coastal landscapes. Inside the Passages of the Deep you’ll discover artwork that celebrates the beauty and complexity of the Oregon coast.

In addition to holiday festivities and new exhibits, the Aquarium will also offer a variety of gift ideas for the conservation-minded. “The Aquarium is a wonderful place to shop for unique holiday presents,” said Libby Scott, Aquarium Development Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you’ll also be supporting the Aquarium and marine conservation.” Scott said “We offer a festive yet peaceful shopping experience found nowhere else except at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.”

Aquarium Gift Ideas:

Aquarium Memberships Membership is the gift that keeps giving all year. Memberships include one full year of free entry to the Aquarium and lots of other great benefits such as newsletter subscription, in-store discounts, and special events tickets.

Adopt an Animal The Adopt an Animal Program is a gift for animal lovers, ensuring the best care possible for the animals at the Aquarium. Adoptions start at $40.00 and include a beautiful photo of the chosen animal. Other levels of adoptions include plush stuffed animals, t-shirts and animal encounters. Adoptions include the Aquarium’s most popular animals including otters, sea lions, seals, sharks and many more.

Dedicate a Brick The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s “Buy a Brick” program helps support the Aquarium and its mission. For donations of $100 or more, supporters can purchase a personalized brick, which is installed in the Aquarium’s entry pathway. You may have your name engraved on a brick, have it inscribed in memory or in honor of another individual or use it as an opportunity to leave a personalized message.

The Aquarium Gift and Book Shop Toys for young and old, books, games, puzzles, videos, nature music CD’s, stuffed toys, clothing, cards, jewelry, beautiful wall art, glass art, environmentally friendly gifts, cards, ornaments and a wealth of educational resources.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a private, not-for-profit aquatic and marine science educational facility offering a fun and interesting way to learn about Oregon’s unique coastal ecosystem. The Aquarium is dedicated to teaching marine wildlife and ocean conservation through responsible management and exhibition of marine life. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

Oregon Coast Aquarium: “Last two months of ‘Swampland’ exhibit

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Oct 312011
 

Photo Courtesy: Oregon Coast Aquarium

With two months left to see the Swampland, visitors are invited to discover the animals and habitats of three different types of swamps during “The Last Sixty Days of Swampland,” before it is dismantled beginning this January 3rd.

Swampland is an elaborate exhibition with colorful murals depicting three different types of swamps. Exotic creatures make their homes here among replicated South American swamps of the Pantanal, a mangrove swamp and a cypress swamp. Swampland focuses on the role of animals in these ecosystems, using a narrative style of interpretation within a storybook format that tells a fascinating tale.

The first things visitors see upon entering Swampland are simulated cypress and mangrove trees. To the left is an 8 foot circular tank with a 12 foot anaconda inside. The food web is an integral part of the exhibit and the anaconda is first because it is at the top of the food chain. Interpretive text tells how swamps differ from other types of wetlands and how the plants and animals have adapted to live in these habitats.

Imperiled wetlands have been in the spotlight in recent years, with catastrophic events such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katrina compromising the integrity of these biologically diverse ecosystems. As scientists look for ways to mitigate the damage of these events, the importance of wetlands to the health of our planet is becoming more evident. The goal of Swampland is to show how something mysterious can be an important part of the global environment. Swamps have typically been portrayed as dark dangerous places, when in fact; they are important ecosystems that serve vital functions such as water purification and protection of fish, hatchlings and smaller animals.

Creatures that live in swamps include reptiles, amphibians, fishes, birds and mammals. A 12 foot anaconda and a 6 foot alligator are among the inhabitants of Swampland. Not a known man-eater, the anaconda is a snake that is potentially dangerous. Feeding an anaconda requires two people and a specific protocol due to its enormous size and strength. Other animals in Swampland include piranhas, red tail boas, a large alligator snapping turtle, poison dart frogs and tropical fish that use mangrove roots as nurseries.

Swampland offers visitors a chance to touch some of its fascinating inhabitants in “creature features,” swim with the piranhas, or crawl-through a simulated alligator burrow. A flip lid activity encourages visitors to guess what animals made the illustrated tracks. Children can record their observations in a naturalist tent. As visitors walk through giant mangrove roots, they will see up close how the root systems act as the swamp’s “nursery” by protecting small animals.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium acknowledges Swampland sponsors: Fred Meyer Stores, Meyer Memorial Trust, Juliet Ashby Hillman Foundation, Summer Lea Hillman Foundation, Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Jackson Foundation, Wheeler Foundation and 127 individuals who donated to Swampland.

After Swampland closes, the Aquarium will begin construction of The Sea and Me, opening Memorial Day weekend, 2012. The Sea and Me will be an interactive family adventure spotlighting four facets of the ocean; research, fishing, recreation and culture. Live animal encounters and interactive components will show the human connection to the ocean; how we interact with it and why we should learn and care about it.

While The Sea and Me is under construction, visitors will continue to enjoy the Aquarium’s permanent exhibits, including Passages of the Deep, with sharks bat rays and a diverse array of colorful fish native to Pacific Northwest waters, as well as jellies, sea otters, seals, sea lions and the sea bird aviary.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and has been named one of the Top 10 Aquariums in the United States by USA Today, Parents magazine, Forbes Traveler and Coastal Living.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational attraction dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

No scare by day, but come the night, it’s the real thing at the Oregon Coast Aquarium!

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Oct 072011
 

Oregon Coast Aquarium

It’s common knowledge that the Oregon Coast Aquarium features creatures that are pretty scarey. But dress the place up in Halloween garb and decorations and enlist the help of their swimming and non-swimming “monsters and mini-monsters of the deep” and you’re in for a Halloween to remember! Save the date, October 29th at the Aquarium! Click here for details!

Baby Octopuses born at the Oregon Coast Aquarium!

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Sep 272011
 


Oregon Coast Aquarium Photos of Mama and one of her little ones still in its egg sac

Oregon Coast Acquarium’s Cindy Hanson says they had a hunch their “Mama” Red Octupus was up to something, the way she was stacking small rocks and such in a corner of her tank. So they added some extra “building materials” for her just to see what she’d do with them. And their curiosity paid off! Mama Red Octupus gave birth to a swarm of babies, which are now voraciously dining on brine shrimp.

For the delightfully complete story, please click here!

There was a recent Red Octopus hatch at Humboldt State University, down near Eureka, CA. Here’s a You Tube video on it!

Oregon Coast Aquarium: Where volunteering is always fun!

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Sep 082011
 

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Release provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering a variety of volunteer opportunities during fall volunteer training. In addition to interpretive volunteer recruitment, the Aquarium is seeking volunteers to work behind the scenes in facility maintenance, in the gift shop, as event coordinators, on the exhibits team and doing clerical work. Enrollment is open now for Fall Volunteer Training, which begins October 8 and continues each Saturday through November 19 from 9 am – 5 pm.

Interpreter training is being offered for those interested in learning more about marine life and the coastal environment. Through a series of lectures and hands-on activities, volunteers learn about the history of the Aquarium, animal care, coastal habitats and animal biology. “Each session, we are so fortunate to bring in wonderful new volunteers whose zest for learning is exhibited in their dedication and commitment to volunteering,” said Carmen Morgan, Manager of Volunteer Services. “It is rewarding to see new volunteers mix with current volunteers and develop friendships based on a common love for the ocean and its inhabitants.” Morgan said the training offers people an opportunity to share the Aquarium’s mission of educating the public about the coast, the animals and conservation of marine habitats.

Jellyfish Jubilee coming up September 17th at the Aquarium!

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Sep 062011
 

It’s the big annual fundraiser for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and there will be lots of great eats and fun for those who want to be a part of one of the best things to ever happen to Newport. For all the info on the jubilee, just grab your lil ole mouse and click it right HERE!

Oregon Coast Aquarium teams up with LC School District for Ocean Literacy Symposium

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Aug 192011
 

Provided by Oregon Coast Aquarium

Aquarium to Co-Host First Lincoln County K-12
Ocean Literacy Symposium August 30

Newport, Oregon– In a collaborative effort with Lincoln County School District, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and Oregon Sea Grant, the Oregon Coast Aquarium will co-host Lincoln County’s first K-12 Ocean Literacy Symposium Tuesday, August 30, in Newport. The Partnership is working to improve Lincoln County students’ ocean literacy by providing better access to the vast knowledge of local marine and coastal agencies to teachers and students.

The Symposium is a district-wide in-service day for all licensed teachers and administrators. Participants will learn new strategies and resources for teaching marine science in the classroom to help students meet state standards. Teachers will explore the mud flats and learn new ways to engage students in math and science. They will also learn how to use songs to increase students’ understanding of complex topics and a variety of other teaching techniques.

“It’s really exciting to have a day where teachers, administrators, scientists and informal educators can get together to develop strategies for connecting our local students to the ocean. We are lucky to live in a county where our district is committed to taking advantage of the unique learning opportunities available in our rural coastal communities,” said Rachael Bashor, Aquarium School Liaison / Partnership Coordinator.

Craig Strang, Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, will provide a keynote address at Newport High School. Immediately following, nearly fifty presentations from local teachers and agencies will be offered in break-out sessions at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center.

To learn more about the Symposium, contact Rachael Bashor, Aquarium School Liaison / Partnership Coordinator at rachael.bashor@aquarium.org.

Oregon Coast Aquarium: Eating more intelligently can be good for our oceans!

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Jul 272011
 

Shark tube, Oregon Coast Aquarium

From the “everything’s connected” department, the Oregon Coast Aquarium offers up a fascinating thought about how people’s eating habits can have a major effect on the world’s oceans. Click here for the story!

Celtic games, a new Walgreens, how to spend a million bucks, changing of the guard at the rec center and pool, and putting “Geo-hazard” to bed.

 Oregon Coast Aquarium  Comments Off on Celtic games, a new Walgreens, how to spend a million bucks, changing of the guard at the rec center and pool, and putting “Geo-hazard” to bed.
Jul 172011
 

It’s a Newport City Council meeting agenda that’s short on issues but long on how important each one is, so it might be another long one for the councilors.

After seemingly endless months of haggling over what sort of regulations there should protect unwary home or lot buyers from buying geologically hazardous properties along the coast, it appears that the council is very close to adopting new ones that everyone can live with. What appears to be winning is backing away from complicated “city nanny” restrictions to something closer to “buyer beware.” Instead of blanket requirements that anything near a coastal bluff or dune back area needing an involved geologic engineering report, that expensive endeavor will apparently be limited only to properties that are in high risk or ground-movement active areas. Also, city maps won’t show red colored swaths up and down the coastline in areas where state maps declare geologic hazards exist. The real estate and banking industries really hate the red splotches on the maps.

The new geologic hazard changes are expected to be approved which, at their most restrictive, will require geological studies on lots or parcels that fall within active or high hazard areas. However, if part of such a lot can be safely built on, that is, a spot lying outside the immediate danger area, and a geologic investigation supports that, a building permit can be issued. Earlier, geologic studies were to be required even if ground movement “might be possible” over the next sixty to one hundred years. That idea has been thrown out.

Critics of the process included bankers, real estate agents, appraisers, contractors and land owners who said although new state maps of the coastline might suggest land movement hazards, it doesn’t mean they will happen. Today, those same critics appear resigned to the new less restrictive criteria for when a geologic engineering study is required, i.e., only in high risk/active movement areas.

The council will also be looking to approve giving up city ownership of the first block of Northeast 1st off 101 to the Walgreens drug store people. Walgreens wants to build a new drug store at NE 1st and 101. Walgreens is asking the city to give up NE 1st so they can better control customer driving movements in and out of the property, which includes a drive up window. Critics like Newport resident Carla Perry oppose the idea for a number of reasons including her contention that Walgreens is using a lot of prime downtown property for a single use. She provided councilors with examples of Walgreens projects in other cities across the country in which Walgreens built a lot more than a drug store to more appropriately use valuable land for more than just one purpose. In her letter to the city council Perry suggests that Walgreens should be required to build a multi-story building to include affordable housing on the second floor which would help create a more active and vibrant downtown corridor. She goes on to point out that Walgreens has provided other cities that it has entered with second floor “work force” housing and professional office space to attract higher income occupants which are referred to by planners as examples of downtown “mixed land use” that seeks to make downtowns more active after 6pm. Some cities suggest condos to attract higher income occupants.

Meanwhile, some downtown businesses accustomed to using Northeast 1st as their primary access to 101 don’t want to lose that access. But a traffic engineering study contends Northeast 1st is a problem intersection because of site distance issues, and being too close to the Highway 20 at 101 traffic light which regularly backs up traffic south to Northeast 1st and beyond. The study says the limited public use of a privatized Northeast 1st will smooth things out considerably if the project is allowed to move forward.

And the council is expected to devise yet another “task force” to tackle another controversial issue facing the city council – what to do with a million dollars burning a hole in many a non-profit’s pocket. The million dollars lies in a city fund that was supposed to pay for a new Newport Event Center. Over time it was felt that an event center is not the right thing to do with the money, so the council has opened it up for suggestions from tourism-based non-profit organizations. And they’ve already gotten at least two big requests. The Oregon Coast Aquarium wants a half million dollars for improvements to their facility at South Beach, and the Heritage Museum is eyeing $300,000 to upgrade their facilities as well. And there are other non-profits waiting in the wings. The council wants help in picking out the best applicants who will produce the most tourism bang for the buck. The council will appoint members to the new Newport Tourism Facilities Grant Review Task Force; up to seven “tourism savvy” folks who can develop criteria with which to evaluate the myriad of suggested projects. Monday night the council will collectively give birth to the task force and shortly will begin making appointments to it. Review criteria will be central to the process that is expected to produce a list of “prioritized” projects from which the council will pick the winners.

The council will also hear a request from private citizens who want to take the Celtic Festival and Highland Games off the city’s hands. Those who came up with the original idea (and for which the city fronted the money) claim it will be bigger, stronger and better than ever in private hands than in the city’s. They say the seed money the city used was well worth the investment and now it’s time for the city to turn the event over to their non-profit. The group also wants the proceeds that were generated by the two day event in order to finance next year’s Celtic Festival. They contend the event netted $20,000 in profit. City Parks and Recreation Department Director Jim Protiva, who was the city’s money-guy in the equation, claims its closer to $5,000. Protiva will tell the council that if the council wants to send the festival off to a private non-profit, he’ll support it. However, he expressed concern that such groups and events are always one badly attended event (heavy rain/wind) away from running out of money but by sticking with the city, the festival would be better insured against such an untimely demise. Protiva says the city and county put up not only the start up money, but also provided free permits, free police patrols, volunteers and others, and that a private non-profit might have to pay for all that if they go it alone. We’ll see how the council handles this hot potato.

The council is expected to pick the contractor that will put a new roof on the Newport Performing Arts Center. If you’ve been inside it you know there are large holes in the ceiling where water has come in through the roof, falling down into the lobby. Construction would begin in August and be finished before the winter rains. Winning bid was $144,000 and change.

And perhaps an issue that has the greatest potential for drawings lines in the sand between neighbors is a proposal to privatize the management of the city’s Recreation Center and Municipal Swimming Pool. The city council is trying to find ways to save money and they know that a wave of privatization is sweeping the country reflecting hopes that cities and counties can get more done with less if they allow private firms to manage city assets like pools and recreation centers. And to be sure, there is plenty of evidence that proves positively that privatization works AND that it doesn’t work. The devil’s in the….well…you know. The council will again whip out their “How To Start Another Task Force” manual and tell whoever they pick to study the issue and to report back by next January; in plenty of time to decide whether they can redirect “the savings” to other city functions. Critics of privatization contend that prices will go up, out of reach of many families, while service levels will drop. But supporters claim the private sector can always do the job cheaper because they don’t have “all those expensive city workers” to pay for. Supporters also claim private companies or non-profits like the YMCA can work closely with city councils to ensure their commitment to the community remains intact. However, critics say it’s seldom that smooth and when the city tries to alter or cancel a contract, the expensive lawsuits fly, erasing any savings the city hoped to enjoy. Besides they say, city parks and recreation salaries are nothing compared to others throughout the rest of the city.

The gavel’s whack begins the city council meeting at 5:30pm, Monday evening, Newport City Hall.

Adopt Me, Please!

 Oregon Coast Aquarium  Comments Off on Adopt Me, Please!
May 242011
 

Photo: Oregon Coast Aquarium

Talk about bragging rights!! By adopting a sea going critter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, you can boast that your adopted pet is part of a group of animal and people that provide a wondrous display of what covers most of the world’s surface and draws tourists from every continent. Now, that’s show business!

But to keep the show going requires immense financial expenditures that the Aquarium hopes you’ll do your part by adopting one of their fascinating creatures. And who doesn’t have an animal lover in their family! Adoptions start at just $40 a YEAR. And what’s more, it’s tax deductible because the aquarium is a certified non-profit organization! Sweet!

Click here for more information!