Oregon Coast Aquarium: It Was a Very Good Year
(Newport, Oregon) – 2009 has been a memorable one for the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and as the new one begins the facility looks back and applauds the community and some of the area’s non-profit organizations with whom it collaborated in 2009.
“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 acknowledge some of the organizations we worked with in 2009.”
Some of the Aquarium’s collaborations with other non-profits included:
Agate Beach Cleanup - Aquarium staff teamed up with SOLV, The Surfrider Foundation and Thompson’s Sanitary for the annual spring and fall beach cleanup at Agate Beach.
Hospitality Days - The Aquarium offered Lincoln County hospitality employees free admission to the Aquarium during the fifth annual Hospitality Days May 1 - 21. Employees at hotels, motels, restaurants and gas stations got in for free and brought 2 guests for half price admission each.
Fisheries Day - The Oregon Coast Aquarium combined resources with Oregon Sea Grant and the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) to offer Fisheries Day August 16. The event offered information about our local fisheries and samples of crab, shrimp, albacore tuna, salmon and sablefish.
Stuff a Bus - The Oregon Coast Aquarium and KYTE-FM teamed up for the annual “Stuff-a-Bus” in the Walmart Parking lot, collecting and filling a school bus with school supplies for local area schools.
The 2009 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.
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 learned about fascinating topics from whales and invertebrates to sharks and marine mammals.
Halloween Harvest Festival - The Aquarium’s Turkey Vulture Exhibit opened Halloween Day, during the Halloween Harvest Festival. The event teamed up with the News-Times to collect food donations for Food Share of Lincoln County. Together, they collected 8,280 pounds of food and $1,156.00 in donations to help feed the hungry of Lincoln County.
School Liaison Partnership Coordinator - A new position was created to assist teachers with offering marine science in their classrooms. Chicago native Rachael Goetzelman was selected to work with project partners, Oregon Sea Grant and the Lincoln County School District to make ocean literacy an integral part of the curriculum objective.
Dollar Week - The Aquarium thanked the community for continuing support in 2009 by offering residents of Lincoln County “Dollar Week,” November 8 – 14 with Aquarium admission reduced to $1.
Sea of Lights – The Aquarium’s annual holiday celebration, December 4 and 5, drew 2,726 people, and collected 5,100 pounds of food for Food Share of Lincoln County.
Memorable moments for the Oregon Coast Aquarium in 2009:
Aquarium attendance held steady in 2009, despite difficult economic conditions.
Original gyotaku prints by acclaimed local artist Bruce Koike were exhibited in Passages of the Deep, complementing the Aquarium fish swimming nearby.
Oddwater, an exhibit built by Aquarium staff, continued to draw national attention for its unique combination of unusual creatures of the ocean and blown glass art from The Edge Art Gallery in South Beach.
In August, the Aquarium announced the appointment of Gary Gamer as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Gamer, from Eugene, brought 25 years of leadership experience with statewide, national and international nonprofit organizations.
An unusual art form found its way to the Aquarium. Colorful paintings and flipper prints by artists Max and Lea, two California sea lions, helped fund animal care at the Aquarium. The story of the sea lion artists traveled around the world in newspapers, magazines and television news.
The Aquarium held the second annual Jellyfish Jubilee: A Celebration of Food and Wine September 19. The event benefitted the Aquarium exhibits and education programs offering an evening of Northwest cuisine, wines, silent auction and live music.