Sandy Shores

Don't be fooled by what you don't see... Oregon's sandy shores are teeming with life, but most of it is hidden from sight.A shoreline is how most human beings experience the ocean. Standing with your feet in the sand and staring out at the waves has inspired everything from epic poems to artistic masterpieces. It is from this vantage point that we can first experience the awe and mystery of the ocean. Our Sandy Shores exhibit helps our visitors to not only recreate that awe-inspired feeling, but to understand the complexity of this teeming but narrow ecosystem where the land meets the water.


Here, much of the life is hidden beneath the sand or in the cracks between rocks. Many surf zone animals bury themselves to escape the drying sun and the sharp eyes of shorebirds and marine predators. The animals of the sandy shores can also be so tiny they almost escape observation, but even the smallest still play a vital role in nature’s constant cycle of life.


One of the highlights of the Sandy Shores gallery includes a freestanding pier pilings exhibit. This 4,730-gallon tank replicates the unique habitat formed by docks and piers where anemones and mussels encrust the human-made features and Dungeness Crabs scuttle along the bottom. Nearby, a separate exhibit replicates the constant ebb and flow of the surf against a tide pool filled with anemones, sculpins and oysters. Other exhibits display the natural habitats of the delicate Sea Pen and the curious-looking flatfish. In all, the gallery holds thirteen separate exhibits.

Oceans Today kiosk in action.The OCEAN TODAY kiosk provides near-real-time updates on weather and conservation issues from all over the world courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the form of videos and interactive programs.  The kiosk also provides a feature called "Oregon Today" which provides information of local interest dealing with our coastal waters, beaches and marine wildlife. All the features change regularly, so check them out during your next visit to the Aquarium!  The kiosk's technology, which includes interactive touch-screens, was donated by Panasonic to the Aquarium through its affiliation with the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers.


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