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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

FEED THE SEALS





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About the Seaside Aquarium


When the aquarium was founded in 1937, the goal was mostly to entertain the public. The dark interior was meant to create the feeling of swimming through an ocean cave at a time when respiration-aided diving was virtually unknown.

In the past several years, the focus has shifted to education and community involvement as well as entertainment. We have reached beyond the walls of the actual building to participate in local events and projects geared toward establishing a better understanding and appreciation of the North Coast marine environment.

In 1995 we became leaders in the regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In the next few years we added an Interpretive Center and helped start Seasideís Watershed Estuary Beach Discovery Program. We have partnered with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and the City of Seaside to inform both the public and local communities about beach safety, tides, different coastal habitats, and the animals who live there.

Touch Tank


Discovery Program Tent

Discovery Program has Successful 13th Summer


In its 13 years, Seasideís Watershed Estuary Beach Discovery Program has become an institution. Every summer on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays visitors can approach the blue tent and touch marine animals, view microscopic plankton, and learn more about the natural resources of this region. Pam Bierly, the Programís Director, says, "Our job really has two parts. One is introducing a few of our local natural attractions; the other is connecting with visitors and sparking their memories or curiosity (which sparks ours)."

Discovery Program Touch Tank

The free program is funded by the City of Seaside and run by the Seaside Aquarium, using aquarium staff and resources. During her 8 years as director, Bierly has seen a lot of repeat visitors. One of the favorite comments she heard this summer was from a girl who said, "Iíve come to the Discovery Program every summer of my life" (she was 8).

Bierly, a retired schoolteacher, and her staff work to personalize each visitorís experience. If they donít know the answer to a question, they will often research it and email a response to the visitor. This means that the staff, as well as visitors, are constantly learning new things. This summer one of the big questions was, "They? Who is the they that have figured out that gray whales donít eat after they leave the arctic waters? And how did they prove it?" They contacted a researcher in the field to find the answer.

Although the weather was uncooperative this summer, more than 4,000 people from all over Oregon and Washington visited the Discovery Program, either on the beach or at the estuary.


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Stay connected:

  Twitter @FeedTheSeals Facebook @SeasideAquarium
Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.