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OMSI’s New Marine Science Center to Open March 12!

OMSI Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, Newport under construction last June

OMSI Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, Newport under construction last June

Construction near completion at Camp Gray

Construction near completion at Camp Gray

Camp Gray bunkhouse for students and families west of Highway 101 in South Beach.

Camp Gray bunkhouse for students and families west of Highway 101 in South Beach.

Entrance to the bunk house OMSI photos

Entrance to the bunk house
OMSI photos

Click photos to enlarge

OMSI’S NEW MARINE SCIENCE CENTER TO OPEN MARCH 12
OMSI Builds on 60 Years of Outdoor Education with New Camp in Newport

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will celebrate the grand opening of its new marine science camp, the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray, on March 12th. Situated along South Beach in Newport, the camp is expected to serve 5,000 school groups, children and families annually.

A new installment in OMSI’s 60-year history of outdoor education, the facility will provide a year-round immersive camp experience, as well as dedicated summer programming, for the hands-on study of the Oregon Coast ecosystem. The camp features a central lodge, 156 student beds plus staff housing, classrooms, dedicated outdoor learning spaces, a communal fire pit, and restorative landscaping that includes dunes, trees, and native plants.

Designed for Oregon’s next generation of explorers, researchers, and designers, this 20-acre facility will help get kids outside and instill a sense of environmental stewardship while building 21st Century skills crucial to future success.

“The average student only spends about seven minutes outside every day–we want to change that,” said OMSI Director of Outdoor Education Steve Tritz. “We know that students are more likely to succeed if they’ve had real-world, outdoor learning experiences, and our new camp will help provide these kinds of opportunities for children and their families.”

OMSI has been committed to being a good neighbor in the community through the use of local contractors during the camp’s construction, as well as by raising scholarship funds dedicated to making the camp accessible to families throughout Lincoln County. Furthermore, OMSI has worked closely with Newport city leaders, Lincoln County officials, education and research institutes, local business groups, the Lincoln County School District and other area organizations to develop ongoing partnerships and programming opportunities.

“The Central Oregon Coast presents an unparalleled environment for marine science exploration,” said OMSI President and CEO Nancy Stueber. “We are thrilled to join the community’s network of leading research organizations, scientists, artists, and local industry leaders to provide diverse and hands-on informal science learning opportunities to children and families from across the Pacific Northwest.”

John Gray, the visionary for whom the camp will be named, and land owners Investors XII, made a combined contribution of $2.3 million allowing OMSI to purchase the 20-acre property in Newport on which the center is built. This project was made possible through the generous support of many donors, including leadership gifts from the Fred Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Wollenberg Foundation, the Collins Foundation, the Coit family, the Murdock Trust, the Fairweather Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, the City of Newport, Lincoln County and many others detailed by clicking here.

Members of public are invited to attend the grand opening celebration on March 12 from 1-4pm, with a special ribbon cutting ceremony set to take place at 2pm. Onsite parking is limited, so guests should gather at Rogue Brewery (2320 Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365), where shuttles will be provided to and from the camp. Walking instructions will also be provided for those who prefer to walk the short distance.

Registration for summer camp programs at this new facility is now open and available at omsi.edu/camps-and-classes or by clicking here.

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