Oregon Coast OMSI Facility to Include Large Science Camp
(Newport, Oregon) – Construction is still a long ways off for the planned Oregon coast addition of Portland's OMSI, but already the science hotspot is working on a marine sciences camp that would serve 5,000 over the course of a year. (Above: Newport).
The Coastal Discovery Center is set to start construction in 2015 and be open in 2016. However, what will be called Camp Gray recently announced more of its approach, which includes a year-round immersive camp experience for the hands-on study of the Oregon coast ecosystem.
The design includes finalized plans for a lodge, 156 student beds plus staff housing, classrooms, and property restoration with dunes, trees, and native plants. The idea is to encourage environmental stewardship and build skills and awareness that could lead to the pursuit of careers in marine science, technology and engineering fields.
“This project is a natural fit for OMSI, given its established leadership in hands-on education, the rich resources on the Oregon Coast has to offer, and the potential collaborations with marine educators including at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, NOAA and Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center,” said Chris Hall, co-chair of the Coastal Discovery Campaign.
OMSI has worked closely with Newport city leaders, Lincoln County officials, education and research institutes, local business groups, the Lincoln County School District and other area organizations to reach this stage.
The museum also intends to keep using local contractors whenever possible, protect the property’s unique coastal wetlands, and explore programming to compliment the array of educational activities that support Newport’s economic strategies outlined by the Yaquina Bay Ocean Observing Initiative.
“OMSI is honored to join the Newport community and contribute to the ongoing work in marine and ocean sciences that is so prominent in the region,” said Nancy Stueber, OMSI President. “Newport’s combination of natural environments and extraordinary access to the local science and education community already in place makes study at the future Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray a truly unique learning proposition for students.”
In addition to completing the design phase, OMSI has raised 80 percent of a $10 million capital campaign in support of the center. The final stages of the campaign are focused on the establishment of a scholarship fund for future participants, including support for local children, families and school groups. To realize the vision for Camp Gray, OMSI is seeking contributions from the community to raise the remaining funds for the project.
John Gray, the visionary for whom the camp will be named, and land owners Investors XII, made a combined contribution of $2.3 million allowing OMSI to purchase the 20-acre property in Newport on which the center will be built. Additional contributors to-date include, The Collins Foundation, The Fairweather Foundation, The Wollenberg Foundation, The Fred Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Wells Fargo, the City of Newport, and numerous individual contributors.
OMSI’s capital campaign is chaired by Chris Hall and Tony Arnerich and led by a dedicated group of volunteers. Those wishing to learn more or contribute to the Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray campaign should visit www.omsi.edu/coastal-discovery-center.
More about Newport below and at the Newport, Oregon Virtual Tour, Map.
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