Sea Otter Awareness Week

Saturday, September 28, 201310:00am - 5:00pm

Join the Oregon Coast Aquarium as we celebrate sea otters during Sea Otter Awareness Week, September 22 - 28, 2013.

The Aquarium will be brimming with sea otter facts, jokes, quizzes and art so visitors can learn about these marine mammals no matter what exhibit they are exploring. Aquarium mammalogists will talk about how they care for these animals during daily feeding narrations and an Enrichment Station will feature some of the items used to entertain the Aquarium’s resident otters and simulate their natural environment.

The kickoff activities begin Sunday, September 22nd and include activity stations to learn how otters stay warm, opportunities to touch pelts and bones and more. Our mammalogists will be on hand to share how we take care of our otters, including daily feeding narrations.

The first 200 groups of visitors on Saturday, September 28, will drive away with a free sea otter themed bumper sticker.

People everywhere can see the Aquarium’s sea otters through the live-feed Aquari-cam. Take a peek to see what Judge, Mojoe and Schuster are up to!

History of Sea Otters on the Oregon Coast

The last sea otter in Oregon was trapped near Newport in 1906. Sea Otters once ranged in number along the coasts of the North Pacific, from Russia and northern Japan, throughout the Aleutians, down the coasts of Alaska and British Columbia, to as far south as Baja California. Scientists estimate up to 300,000 sea otters once inhabited this area. That changed in 1741 when traders realized that the unusually dense fur of the Sea Otter was excellent for clothing. This thick fur enables otters to survive in cold seas without the blubber of whales or sea lions. Of the three remaining subspecies of sea otters around the world, two are found here in North America: the Southern Sea Otter and the Northern Sea Otter. The third subspecies is the Russian Sea Otter.

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. 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 health and marine ecosystem health.

Learn more about the Aquarium's Sea Otters by clicking here.