Aquarium Wraps Up 2011

January 05, 2012

The last year has been a memorable one for the Oregon Coast Aquarium and it applauds the community and some of the area’s non-profit organizations with whom it collaborated in 2011. “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, Aquarium President and CEO.  “We understand the challenges of raising funds to accomplish a mission, so we want to thank the community and acknowledge some of the organizations we worked with in 2011.”

 Oregon Coast Aquarium collaborations in 2011:

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

Five Dollar Wednesdays - The Aquarium continues to offer Lincoln County residents five dollar admission to the Aquarium every Wednesday.

Fisheries Day - The Oregon Coast Aquarium, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Newport Fisherman’s Wives and Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission teamed up to offer Fisheries Day December 28. A day of activities at the Aquarium celebrating the sustainable Oregon Dungeness crab fishery included samples of fresh Dungeness crab, information tables, hands on activities for children and information about sea safety.

The 2011 Oyster Cloyster - The annual event at the Aquarium raised funds for the Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC) Aquarium Science Program.  An evening of indulgence in exotic oyster appetizers and other dishes creatively prepared by professional chefs helped fund OCCC Aquarium Science program and materials.

The 2011 Chocolate Classic - In a Roaring 20’s setting, the Aquarium hosted Lincoln County’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) annual fundraiser January 29. The event, blending art, creativity and chocolate flavors into a fun event where Chocolatiers, Chefs, Bakers and Chocolate Artisans compete, benefited programs for seniors provided by RSVP.

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 K-5  learned about fascinating topics from whales and invertebrates to sharks and marine mammals.

Ocean Literacy Symposium - In a collaborative effort with Lincoln County School District, Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and Oregon Sea Grant, the Aquarium held Lincoln County’s first ever K-12 Ocean Literacy Symposium August 30. The Partnership is working to improve Lincoln County students’ ocean literacy by providing better access to the vast knowledge of local marine and coastal agencies to teachers and students. Since the partnership has formed, it has been recognized for excellence in its Ocean Literacy Program, including the Coastal America Partnership Award, Confederation of Oregon School Administrator’s (COSA) Excellence in Curriculum Achievement Award and will be featured as a case study for the West Coast Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Health.

Creatures of the Day and Creatures of the NightThe Aquarium’s annual Halloween parties, Creatures of the Day for 8 and younger, and Creatures of the Night for 9 and older, drew 3,116 visitors and collected 4,295 pounds of food for Food Share of Lincoln County and Newport Food Pantry. It also brought in pet food for the Central Coast Humane Society. Admission to the event was $2 and two items of food or pet food.

Sea of Lights – The Aquarium’s annual holiday celebration, December 3 and 4 drew 2,922 visitors and collected 4,325 lbs of food for Food Share of Lincoln County and the Newport Food Pantry. The event also collected toys for the Newport Fire Department’s Holiday Toy Drive, cash donations and pet food and for the Central Coast Humane Society. Admission to the event was $2 and two items of food or pet food or a new toy.

Memorable moments for the Oregon Coast Aquarium in 2011:

AZA Grants Accreditation - The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced in March that the Oregon Coast Aquarium was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. “Not all aquariums are the same. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals.

Attendance - Aquarium attendance held steady in 2011, despite difficult economic conditions.

Beauty and the Birds - The Aquarium opened a new photography exhibit in its Passages of the Deep Gallery July 1. The photographers, Susan and Steve Dimock, are Bandon residents who love nature and the Aquarium. Their work features Oregon coast landscapes and birds, including Aquarium puffins.

Anaconda Ale - Rogue Ales unveiled Anaconda Ale in honor of the giant anaconda in the Swampland exhibit.  Anaconda Ale was sold at Rogue Ales Brewpubs and the Aquarium gift shop, with a portion of the proceeds going toward veterinary care and feeding of Aquarium animals.

Oceanscape Network - The Oregon Coast Aquarium announced plans to launch a groundbreaking interactive website, the Oceanscape Network, targeting teachers and students to go online in the summer of 2013. The website is part of a commitment by the Aquarium’s Education Department to offer STEM education (an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). The strength of a nation’s STEM workforce is viewed as an indicator of its ability to sustain itself, according to the United States National Academies.

Jellyfish Jubilee - The Aquarium held the fourth annual Jellyfish Jubilee: A Celebration of Food and Wine September 17. The event benefitted the Aquarium exhibits and education programs, in an elegant evening of Northwest cuisine, wines, silent auction and live music.

Swampland – The Aquarium’s changing exhibit, built by Aquarium staff, closed January 3, to make way for construction of a new exhibit, Sea & Me, slated to open Memorial Day weekend, 2012. The bright and vibrant Sea & Me will spur imagination, encouraging interaction and cooperative learning among children, families, classmates and teachers. The featured species will invite curiosity, and encourage discovery, inquiry, and understanding of marine animals and habitats.

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