Sea Otter Awareness Week at Oregon Coast Aquarium
(Newport, Oregon) - The Oregon Coast Aquarium will observe Sea Otter Awareness Week September 27 to October 3, a week-long event to educate the public about the integral role that sea otters play in the marine ecosystem. The week’s activities will include a talk about sea otters, sea otter crafts and an abundance of information about sea otters’ natural history and adaptations. Public sea otter feedings will be held at 10:30 am, 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. For more information about national observances, visit www.defenders.org/seaotter/awareness.
Sea Otter Awareness Week Schedule: Sunday through Saturday, September 27 to October 3. In the lobby: Sea Otter Station - Learn all about the sea otter. Public sea otter feedings at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sea otters play a critical role in the marine ecosystem as a keystone species. They promote a healthy kelp forest that, in turn, supports thousands of organisms. Sea otters are also an indicator or sentinel species. They are dying of diseases that have land-based connections. Since humans and sea otters eat many of the same seafood items, high rates of sea otter disease may be a warning for both human health and marine ecosystem health.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium has participated in a sea otter breeding loan program with the Seattle Aquarium. Two sea otter pups born there are the offspring of Adaa, who was sent to Seattle on breeding loan from the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Adaa’s first pup, a male named Chugach, was born in 2005, to Aniak who was a first time mother. The second pup, named Alki, also a male, was born in 2005 to Lootas.
“The Oregon Coast Aquarium is very fortunate in having the largest sea otter exhibit in North America,” said Judy Tuttle, Aquarium Curator of Mammals. “We maintain the Aquarium’s sea otter population at three to four male sea otters, including both northern and southern sea otters. Tuttle said there is a great need for homes for non-releasable males and the Oregon Coast Aquarium maintains the largest captive male population. “Only 12 aquariums and zoos in North American maintain sea otter exhibits for visitors to enjoy,” said Tuttle.
Oregon Coast Aquarium. 2820 SE Ferry Slip Road. Newport, Oregon. (541) 867-3474. www.aquarium.org.
Stunning sunset from Otter Rock/Cape Foulweather, looking towards Newport.
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