180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Oregon Coast Aquarium Encounters Little in
Wake of Storm
Oregon) – No fish or animals were harmed in the making of this story.
Much like Newport itself, the Oregon Coast Aquarium came
through without a scratch during this recent tempest. These Pacific Northwest
storms wreaked devastation, disrupting communities from California to
Alaska. The news was full of stories about property damage, human tragedy
and financial hardship. One thing that was not in the news was the Oregon
Coast Aquarium. Coastal communities are familiar with power outages, downed
trees, mudslides and high water during storms of this magnitude, so the
Aquarium staff makes it a part of their routine to always be prepared.
While power never really went out in Newport, South Beach
– where the aquarium sits – was another story.
were without power for 24 hours,” said Jim Burke, Aquarium Director
of Animal Husbandry, “but we didn’t lose a single animal.”
Burke said with the high wind warning in effect, he knew there was potential
for an outage, so he came to work Sunday to be ready. “Storms like
this usually hit in the middle of the night, but this one happened at
11 a.m. Sunday, so there was plenty of staff on site. We are always prepared
for what might happen.”
Gary Smith, Aquarium Manager of Life Support systems, spent
thirty hours on duty during the storm. “Staff members put in long
hours to make sure the animals were safe,” Smith said. “This
was the longest power outage the Aquarium has experienced, I think because
the two storms in a row made it an extra long period of high winds. We
had six to eight hours of 75 mph winds and higher, followed by thirty
hours of 50 mph winds.” Smith’s job includes monitoring about
1,800,000 gallons of water which support over 15,000 animals in Aquarium
exhibits. Life Support does repair and replacement on pump filters, air
blowers, and the back-up generators. Aquarists oversee the daily activity
of pump flows, adjustments, and temperature. Smith said the Aquarium staff
routine includes regular practice runs and drills to ensure preparedness
for the unexpected, including power loss. “We keep our generators
maintained and ready to go and our staff has a well rehearsed protocol
in place at all times.”
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The preparation pays off - not a single fish was worse
for the wear in the last storm, even though the building itself lost a
four by eight foot piece of glass near the Passages of the Deep exhibit.
“We are always prepared,” said Dale Schmidt, Aquarium President.
“But we also have Central Lincoln PUD to thank. They really make
us a priority during power outages.”
|Storm lashes at Newport (photo Guy DiTorrice)
The Aquarium is situated on 34 acres with 50,000 square
feet of building space housing exhibits, classrooms, labs and life support
facilities. Outdoor exhibits include a seabird aviary, otter exhibit,
pinniped exhibit and extensive native flora. Preparing a facility of this
size for 100 plus mph winds is a task that staff members take very seriously.
“A lot of ground has to be covered, including preparing emergency
pumps, generators, radios, monitoring of oxygen levels, temperature and
for longer outages - ammonia and nitrites,” said Burke.
an outage, the Aquarium ceases to intake water from the bay, and instead
utilizes water in an emergency reservoir as backup. “Theoretically,
we could go two weeks if we are able to keep our generators fuelled and
free from mechanical breakdown, but we hope we never have to,” said
Burke. “We have a plan in place with 30 to 40 percent of our power
supply on emergency generators and within that plan is a process of prioritization,
with animal health at the top. Ideally, we’d like to have 70 percent
of our power supply on backup.” Burke says another generator is
on the Aquarium’s wish list.
The Aquarium survived another severe storm without a single
casualty partly because of the sense of commitment shared by employees,
according to Burke. He credits the dedication of staff members who have
families and homes they leave to go to work in the midst of a storm. “It’s
a big responsibility to have captive animals. It’s our duty and
responsibility to have a well rehearsed emergency management plan to ensure
the safety of every animal.”
Oregon Coast Aquarium is in South Beach, across the
bay from Newport. 541-867-3474. www.aquarium.org.
For a video of north
coast storm coverage, click here
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
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Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
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171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside
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Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
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Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
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City Vacation Homes
Something for everyone: smaller homes
with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and
fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to
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cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another
sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes
– ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have
seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230
per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
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to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. Lincoln City’s only resort
hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled
against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine
in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight
dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other
Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range
from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and
refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise
room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game
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4009 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
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burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside
visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated.
Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes,
one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining
rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two
bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor
pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern
end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
for Freaky, Creepy Mole Crabs on Oregon Coast Beaches The
little critters make the tideline bubble and feel really weird as they
run across your feet
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
Coast Lodging Specials
BeachConnection.net's 1,000 pages
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Beach, Oregon Lodging
Wheeler, Rockaway Beach Lodging
Beach Complete Guide
City Complete Guide
Oregon Complete Guide
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia
meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of
atmosphere & history
Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries
& an art mecca
beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside,
Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn
downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix
of the rugged & upscale
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles
and miles of fluffy dunes