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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS





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Whale Watching

A Family Operation

Many people comment on the "Mom and Pop" nature of the Seaside Aquarium. It is small and privately owned with a personal touch. We hear regularly that multiple generations have enjoyed the aquarium. Visitors who came to the aquarium as kids return with their own children to feed the seals. This is actually true for staff as well as visitors. Over the years, a number of generations have worked here. Rebecca Anderson, who worked at the aquarium in high school and returned many years later says, "You never really leave the aquarium. Once you work there, you’re family." Her mother, sister, and brother-in-law have all worked for the aquarium.

Alex Dennon is a perfect example of this phenomenon. His grandmother, Elaine Dennon, worked in the gift shop in the 1970’s. His grandfather on the other side of his family struck up a friendship with Jack O’Brien, then owner, who encouraged him to bring Alex to visit regularly. Alex began working for the aquarium in 2005 as an aquarist. He opens the aquarium in the mornings, cuts fish to feed the seals, siphons tanks, and talks with the public in the interpretive center.

Alex remembers visiting the aquarium with his grandfather. He particularly enjoyed the touch tank and feeding the seals. "It seems like we visited once a week," Dennon

Important Beach Safety

1. Never turn your back on the ocean.
Sneaker wavers are very powerful, sometimes strong enough to knock over an adult.

2. Avoid logs in the surf.
They may look stable, but the ocean can roll logs over you.

3. This is not a safe area for swimming in the ocean.
Be aware there is a strong undercurrent.

4. Completely extinguish your campfires.
Embers can burn for days if left or covered.

5. Leave marine mammals alone.
Marine mammals can carry diseases transmutable to humans and pets.


says, "I know it wasn’t that often, but it seemed pretty frequent." Alex loves all of the different parts of his work but his favorite part is "all of the people that you meet [in the interpretive center]."

Ownership is also a family business. Jack O’Brien took over aquarium management from his parents-in-law, George and Greta. When he passed away, his daughters Kathe and Shireen inherited the aquarium. Their children sit on the aquarium board and have worked at the aquarium.



Marine Mammal Stranding Network Also Helps Stranded Sea Turtles
On rare occasions in winter storms, sea turtles are pushed from the warm Davidson current into our colder waters and then wash ashore. The Seaside Aquarium works with other aquariums to try to recover these stranded animals. The turtles’ chances of survival are low, but some have been successfully rehabilitated. Here’s what we do:
Turtle Sand
Step 1 - The sea turtle is assessed on the beach by aquarium staff. Hypothermia is usually the main concern.
Secure Turtle
Step 2 - The sea turtle is then transported by truck to the Seaside Aquarium to warm up.
Moving Turtle in Place
Step 3 - The turtle is lifted gently into a small wading pool and moved into the back of the aquarium.
Multiple People Moving Turtle
If its temperature rises too quickly, the turtle will go into shock.
Close up of Turtle
Step 4 - When the animal is stable, it is moved to another aquarium for rehabilitation.

Photos by: Tiffany Boothe, Leslie Pugmire, Brandy Hussa, Dave Pastor, Keith Chandler, and PacificLight Images


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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.