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Covering 160 miles of Oregon coast travel: Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.

Summer Cometh: Are you ready?

Oregon Coast Aquarium Offers Unique Fun for Divers

(Newport, Oregon) – Newport’s Oregon Coast Aquarium is offering up some interesting – if not slightly unusual – fun for divers. The facility is providing a class that allows divers to get up close to ocean wildlife, quite literally. It’s also seeking volunteer divers to help out around the aquarium – on the inside of the tank, that is.

“Marine Ecology for the Wet and Wild,” offers a chance for divers to experience the Aquarium’s Passages of the Deep exhibit, home to hundreds of marine animals. The class is Saturday, July 22nd from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and includes a review of the 13 major groups of invertebrates inhabiting Northwest waters.

“We won’t be diving with the sharks,” said Vallorie Hodges, Dive Safety Officer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, “but we’ll be right up close to many common – and some uncommon Pacific Northwest fishes and invertebrates.” Hodges said this is the ideal place for divers to learn about marine life because you would have to log many hours diving in the open water of the Oregon Coast to find and identify the marine life you will see in one dive at the Aquarium.


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In this setting at the Aquarium, divers learn in a more focused manner. “You see the animals through the acrylic, learn about them in a classroom and then dive into Passages of the Deep at the Aquarium.” Hodges said, “You really get to see them up close and walk away with a solid knowledge of what you see in Pacific Northwest waters.”

The class is led by Zoologist Richard Yost and Janna Nichols, a REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) instructor. Hodges says the popular class is fun. “Richard’s humor and Janna’s diving expertise make it as fun as it is informative.”

Yost uses photos and video clips to highlight the characteristics of the animals and where to find them as well as habitat, behavior and interrelationships. Nichols will focus on fish identification and show the class how to do a REEF fish survey.

“This is a prime Northwest diving experience… seated entry with a tender to help gear up, no currents and crystal clear water,” said Hodges, “and we guarantee you will see lots of animals!” The class is Saturday, July 22nd from 8:00am to 5:00pm, and is limited to six participants. To register call Vallorie Hodges at 541-867-3474, Ext. 5302. Registration fee is $140.00 per person.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is looking for advanced level divers to join its staff of volunteer divers. It’s a unique experience offering divers the opportunity to observe marine life close up in the Aquarium habitats. “Divers can join the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s volunteer dive team when they successfully complete the Habitat Diver course,” said Hodges. “The Aquarium is a premier dive destination because it offers the chance to swim with several species of sharks, bat rays, Pacific halibut, skates, and a variety of invertebrates, birds and mammals. It is a clear water environment that can’t be found in the waters along Oregon’s coast.” Currently, the dive volunteer program primarily needs mid week divers, but there are also several weekend spots that are now open as well.

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During the course, divers will learn about the natural history of the Oregon coast, the diverse and fascinating marine life at the Aquarium, and what takes place behind-the-scenes. Divers will develop skills for diving in the Aquarium exhibits, with an emphasis on buoyancy control, finning and full-face mask use. Once divers complete the volunteer and orientation training course, they can become Aquarium volunteers and receive benefits that include an Aquarium membership after 50 hours of service, 2 free passes for every 100 hours, a 20 percent discount in the gift shop and free admission to special programs at the Aquarium.

Volunteers are crucial to the Aquarium’s success and are an important link to the community. Every year, volunteers generously give their time, assisting animal husbandry staff in the care of the Aquarium’s animals. Diving is an important part of maintaining the 1.3 million gallon Passages of the Deep exhibit with divers doing everything from cleaning the acrylic to feeding the animals.

Divers must be at least 18 years old, be certified divers at an advanced level or higher, have 50 logged dives or more, be proficient cold water divers, and obtain CPR, First Aid and Oxygen course certification within 2 months of entering the program. The dive-training course cost is $175.00 and is a PADI recognized specialty certification. Volunteer divers commit to diving one day every three weeks for one year. The course is four days in length and will be held over two consecutive weekends, July 29-30th and August 5-6th, 2006. For more information or to register for the training course divers can call Vallorie Hodges at the Aquarium at (541) 867-3474 ext. 5302.

2820 SE Ferry Slip Road, Newport. (541) 867-3474. www.aquarium.org


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In Awe of AstoriaASTORIA
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific, Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
Serenity in SeasideSEASIDE
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family fun & broad, sandy beaches
Cavort in Cannon BeachCANNON BEACH
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Annihilating  Beauty of Nehalem BayNEHALEM BAY
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Time Trip Around Tillamook BayTILLAMOOK BAY
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook & an oceanfront ghost town
Triple the Pleasure in 3 CapesTHREE CAPES LOOP
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
Miles & miles of unbroken beaches, Cascade Head, Neskowin and many manmade attractions
Divine Depoe BayDEPOE BAY
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Nature in NewportNEWPORT
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Staggering Seal RockWALDPORT / SEAL ROCK
Pristine, even secretive sands and wild geologic landmarks
Aargh, there's no alliteration with Yachats - but it IS unbelievableYACHATS
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged & upscale
Unsurpassable Upper LaneUPPER LANE COUNTY
25 miles of deserted beaches & oodles of wonders
Fine Times in FlorenceFLORENCE
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy dunes








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