2008 Was A Very Good Year For The Oregon Coast Aquarium

December 29, 2008

A word of thanks to communities and non-profit partners for making 2008 an extraordinary year

The last year has been an extraordinary one for the Oregon Coast Aquarium and it applauds the communities and some of the non-profit organizations with whom it collaborated in 2008. “The Aquarium is a non profit facility itself, and relies on visitor-related revenues, grants, and donations to finance our annual operations,” said Carrie Lewis, Director of Marketing. “We understand the challenges of raising funds to accomplish a mission, so we want to thank the community and some of the organizations we worked with in 2008.”

Some of the Aquarium’s collaborations included:

Agate Beach Cleanup - Aquarium staff teamed up with SOLV, The Surfrider Foundation and Thompson’s Sanitary for the annual fall beach cleanup at Agate Beach.

Zimba Marimba Benefit Concert - The Oregon Coast Aquarium hosted the annual benefit concert for My Sisters’ Place on June 13, Lincoln County’s only domestic violence shelter, raising funds for the shelter.

Stuff a Bus - The Oregon Coast Aquarium and KYTE-FM teamed up for the annual “Stuff-a-Bus” in the WAL MART Parking lot, collecting and filling a school bus with school supplies for local schools.

The 2008 Oyster Cloyster - November 1 at the Aquarium, raised funds for the Oregon Coast Community College Aquarium Science Program. An evening of indulgence in exotic oyster appetizers and other dishes creatively prepared by professional chefs. Proceeds from the event went directly to funding educational programs and materials.

Educational Outreach – Oregon Coast Aquarium educators embarked on a new season of outreach, bringing marine science programs to schools in counties all over Oregon and southwest Washington. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn about fascinating topics from whales and invertebrates to sharks and marine mammals.

Creatures of the Night - The Aquarium’s annual Halloween party, broke its attendance record for the third year in a row on October 25, with 2,754 people attending, up 274 from last year and donating 4,900 pounds of food to Lincoln County Food Share, up 1,525 pounds from last year.

Sea of Lights – also broke an attendance record December 5 and 6, drawing 3,542 people, 1,420 more than last year’s attendance of 2,122 and collected a record 6,463 pounds of food donations, more than double last year’s 2,927 pounds of food for Lincoln County Food Share. Dollar Days - The Aquarium thanked the community in 2008 by offering residents of Lincoln County “Dollar Days,” with Aquarium admission reduced to $1 November 7 and 8. The Aquarium also offered Lincoln County hospitality employees free admission to the Aquarium during the fourth annual Hospitality Days May 1 - 23. Front line employees at hotels, motels, restaurants, food service workers and gas station employees got in for free and brought 2 guests for half price admission each.

Memorable moments for the Aquarium in 2008:

  • Aquarium attendance held steady in 2008, despite difficult economic conditions.
  • Oddwater, a new exhibit combining art and marine biology, opened Memorial Day weekend, featuring the most unusual creatures of the ocean and blown glass art from The Edge Gallery in South Beach.
  • The national magazine CONNECT November issue featured a cover photo and feature article titled “Oddwater, Where it’s OK to be Weird.”
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium garnered three top ten ratings in 2008 including Forbes Traveler’s November issue, "America’s Most Awesome Aquariums" Trip Advisor’s August issue, "Trip Advisor’s Call of the Wild: Top 10 U.S. Aquariums and Zoos" and Trailer Life’s March issue, "Aquatic Havens."
  • A rescued Guadalupe fur seal was rehabilitated at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. She moved to the warmer waters of her natural habitat at her new home at Sea World in San Diego February 22.
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium teamed up with the local non profit Writers on the Edge to bring Doug Thompson, author of Whales: Touching the Mystery to Newport for a series of readings, a film screening, and educational activities May 16 and 17.
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium hosted a group of 100 college freshman from the Ford Foundation Scholarship Program’s summer leadership conference July 26. After a tour of the Aquarium, the students, from all over Oregon and northern California, rolled up their sleeves and went to work helping with special projects including exotic species removal, a beach cleanup on South Jetty Beach and dismantling old exhibit materials for recycling.
  • The Aquarium welcomed its 10 millionth visitor September 10. Peggy Scott and her family from Nampa, Idaho, was presented with prizes that included a lifetime family membership, and a gift basket full of Aquarium merchandise.
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium was decked out in all its finery for the inaugural Jellyfish Jubilee: A Celebration of Food and Wine September 27. The event was the first benefit for the Aquarium, with proceeds going toward exhibits and education programs. The event will be an annual affair, offering an evening of Northwest cuisine and wines, a silent auction and live music at the Aquarium.
  • In November, the Aquarium exchanged a female harbor seal for a male harbor seal from the Seattle Aquarium in hopes of producing pups. The Oregon Coast Aquarium exchanged 22 year old female, “Pinky,” for 9 1/2 year old male, “Q”, who has adapted nicely to his new home with the other seals and sea lions in the Aquarium’s Pinniped Exhibit.
  • Habitat restoration for the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly received assistance from the Oregon Coast Aquarium in November. The Aquarium grounds staff helped by rooting and planting nectar producing food sources for butterfly habitat.