The Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering a unique opportunity for divers to participate in a new pilot guest dive program this summer. The first dive is scheduled Sunday, May 27, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. The program includes a chance to dive with Aquarium sharks and other fishes under the supervision of Aquarium dive guides. There will be more dives scheduled during the summer with dates and details available on the Aquarium website.
The Guest Dive Experience includes:
§ A dive in 26 foot deep Halibut Flats Exhibit surrounded by rockfish, halibut, skates and sturgeon
§ A dive to the observation ledge of the Open Sea exhibit with dozens of sharks, including Broadnose Sevengill sharks, that are up to 10 feet in length
§ Aquarium Admission Entry Pass
§ A full cylinder of air
§ Weights as needed
§ Fish identification training session
§ A behind the scenes tour of Passages of the Deep
§ A photograph
“The opportunity to immerse our visitors in the exhibits with our animals is absolutely magic,” said Vallorie Hodges, Aquarium Dive Safety Officer and coordinator of the event. “Few other experiences compare with being in the water with huge halibut, ling cod, bat rays and hundreds of other fish. Seeing sharks from the inside the tunnel is amazing, but having them swim past you just a few feet away is thrilling!” Hodges said coming face to face with a gentle giant sturgeon is awe-inspiring.
Divers will also get a chance to explore the simulated shipwreck in the Halibut Flats exhibit, swim through the kelp and become a part of the Aquarium dive show as visitors in the tunnel watch them and take photos. “It’s really a very special moment,” said Hodges. “This is the feeling we want our guest divers to have, that each of us can make a difference when we become inspired to cherish and conserve this blue planet. The more connected we become with the marine ecosystem, the more we are compelled to protect it.”
The cost of the program is $139 per person for Aquarium members or $149 for non-members.
To participate in the guest diving program, divers must hold and present at check-in a valid SCUBA Certification card from a recognized agency and have no medical contraindications to SCUBA diving. Participants will need to provide their own dive gear except cylinder and weights.
Additional dive dates will be scheduled over summer, and reservations are required. Private or semi-private sessions may also be scheduled upon request.
For additional program dates, information and reservations, visit www.divetheaquarium.org, email Diana.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Eugene Skin Divers Supply at (541) 342-3451.
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.
Oregon Coast Aquarium (OCA) is celebrating the arrival of the newest member of its sea going family; Sea Otter #564. It’s a cute little male whose mother was eaten by a shark off Morro Bay off the central California coast. The pup was wounded in the attack. It was transported to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where it was rehabilitated. Efforts to isolate the otter pup to allow it to return to the wild were foiled when it was determined that the pup was too old to be nursed by a surrogate mother program at the facility. So, it went up for adoption. And the Oregon Coast Aquarium was the successful adopter.
The pup arrived at the OCA in late February and has been undergoing training. The pup has been introduced to its new family of otters, all three of them. They’ve been getting along very well, according to OCA’s Cindy Hanson who adds that the other otters are showing by example, how to forage for food, groom, dive and crack clams.
OCA Curator of Mammals Ken Lytwyn said “We’re very excited to have this new otter joining us at the aquarium. He’s one that would not have made it out in the wild and I’d like to thank everyone who made his transport here possible. Lytwyn said the pup was challenging to train because he had no human contact before his arrival at the Aquarium. “He’s got a very outgoing personality which becomes more expressive by the day. He enjoys interacting with the mammal staff and playing with the toys that we’ve given him.” Lytwyn said the aquarium is lucky to have him and looks forward to him growing up with the rest of the male sea otters named Aialik, Judge and Mojo. They too could not be released to the wild.
Hanson said the aquarium has called on the community to help name this newest addition to their sea otter exhibit. If anyone would like to offer a name for this little pup, submit it to the aquarium’s Facebook page, under OregonCoastAquarium.
OCA officials say sea otters play a critical role in the marine ecosystem as a “keystone species.” They promote a healthy kelp forest that, in turn, supports thousands of organisms. Sea otters are also an indicator or sentinel species. They are dying of diseases that have land-based connections. Since humans and sea otters eat many of the same seafood items, high rates of sea otter disease may be a warning for both human and marine ecosystem health.
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.
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.
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!
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.