Press Room

Find news and recent press releases about the Aquarium.

April 9, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: The Seattle Aquarium presents May Days

 

WHEN:
May 1, 6, 11, 23–26
In addition, watch for upcoming announcements about our Spring Concert Series. Relax and enjoy musical performances by local groups while visiting the fish and other sea animals at the Aquarium.

WHERE:
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA

WHAT:
May 1: The original May Day with a marine twist! The Aquarium’s marine mammals will receive treats of flower shaped ice toys at 11:30am and 2pm.

May 6: The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG—A chance to have your donations to the Seattle Aquarium go further. Visit SeattleAquarium.org for a link to donate to GiveBIG!

May 11: Mother’s Day at the Aquarium—Celebrate Moms of all types, animal and human. As an extra bonus, there will be free parking at select garages and Waterfront parking lots for Mother’s Day.

May 23–26: Memorial Day Weekend–Family Science Weekend
Participate in activities to learn about science and research taking place at the Seattle Aquarium. Hands-on activities, special talks and demonstrations will help the whole family discover science in a fun way.

Hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium’s admission gate is open 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4–12) $14.95; Children 3 and younger are admitted FREE.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

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Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


March 28, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: Marine Mammal Mania returns to Seattle Aquarium!

 

WHEN:
Wild orca weekend: April 4–6
Harbor seal weekend: April 11–13
Sea otter weekend: April 18–20
Northern fur seal weekend: April 25–27

WHERE:
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA

WHO:
Marine mammal experts from the Aquarium, as well as experts from Washington State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries, will be on hand at selected times to talk about research being done to understand and learn from these important sea animals.

Wild orca weekend talks at 2pm
Friday, April 4: Lynne Barre, NOAA Fisheries
Saturday, April 5: Alison Agness, NOAA Fisheries
Sunday, April 6: Juliana Houghton, University of Washington

Harbor seal weekend talks at 2pm
Friday, April 11: Harriet Huber, NOAA Fisheries
Saturday, April 12: Harriet Huber, NOAA Fisheries
Sunday, April 13: Dyanna Lambourn, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Sea otter weekend talks at 11:30am
Friday, April 18: Deanna Lynch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Saturday, April 19: Ed Bowlby, NOAA Fisheries
Sunday, April 20: Jim Bodkin, NOAA, Alaska Science Center

Northern fur seal weekend talks at 2pm
Friday, April 25: Jeremy Sterling, NOAA Fisheries
Saturday, April 26: Sharon Melin, NOAA Fisheries
Sunday, April 27: Tom Gelatt, NOAA Fisheries

WHAT:
Spring brings Marine Mammal Mania back to Seattle! Join us every weekend in April to celebrate some of the biggest and brightest stars of the sea. Activities April 4–6 will be dedicated to the charismatic wild orcas of Puget Sound. April 11–13 will be all about the harbor seals showing off in their new home at the Aquarium. April 18–20 will feature the fabulous, furry and sometimes funny sea otters. And last, but not least, April 25–27 will focus on the sleek swimming northern fur seals, with Commander and newcomer Chewbacca.

Kids and adults alike can enjoy hands-on activities to discover more about these engaging animals. Each weekend, our mammal caretakers will demonstrate how they make ice toy treats for the otters and seals—and visitors can watch to see how much the animals enjoy these treats.

Hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium’s admission gate is open 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4–12) $14.95; Children 3 and younger are admitted FREE.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

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Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


March 26, 2014

Seattle Aquarium hires lead architect EHDD to design future expansion

 

Marc L’ItalienSEATTLE—Seattle Aquarium announced Tuesday it has selected Marc L’Italien, a Principal with the San Francisco architectural firm of EHDD, to be the lead architect for its expansion concept design project.

“L’Italien is among the most seasoned and respected architects in the world of aquarium design, bringing broad qualifications and a firm grasp of the Seattle Aquarium’s design opportunities and challenges,” said Aquarium President & CEO Bob Davidson. “The selection was based on L’Italien’s personal energy, leadership, listening skills, perception of the issues and relevant experience.”

L’Italien joined EHDD in 1990 and has more than 20 years of experience in the design of public aquariums and waterfront projects, including, most notably, the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s beloved museum of science, art and human perception that moved to its new home on the Embarcadero last year.

He is currently the principal in charge of EHDD’s aquariums, zoos and museums practice. His designs have been recognized with numerous local and national design, architecture and museum awards.

Aquarium expansion
In coordination with the Seattle Central Waterfront redevelopment planning, the Seattle Aquarium expects to expand by 70% (from 108,500 gross square feet to 184,500 gross square feet), gaining the potential for exciting new exhibits, educational facilities and increased attendance. The facility’s current annual attendance is approximately 800,000.

A detailed draft concept program representing the programmatic aspirations for the Aquarium’s expansion has already been completed. The expansion is expected to be accomplished in phases based on funding availability. The budget for the first phase is $100 million with completed construction expected in 2020 when much of the new Waterfront is expected to be open to the public.

Central Waterfront redevelopment
Civic officials have called Seattle’s waterfront redevelopment a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reclaim the city’s “front door” and transform it into a primary civic space. The new waterfront will comprise 26 blocks (from the stadiums to Belltown) and provide 20 new acres of City park space. With the removal of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the waterfront redevelopment will also reconnect Seattle’s waterfront to the downtown core.

Perfectly positioned to be the centerpiece of the new waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium plans to dramatically increase its impact through expanded programs, more educational opportunities and classroom facilities, and additional exhibit space.

Marc L’Italien
The EHDD website describes L’Italien (FAIA, LEED® AP, BD+C) as “an exceptional designer involved in significant academic and public projects. Marc has developed a methodology of working closely with clients and users to successfully manage complex issues and ideas. His goal is to create designs that intelligently and sustainably incorporate the essential qualities of the project’s mission. Marc has designed and directed a number of complex projects including the John G. Shedd Aquarium’s $80 million Facility Master Plan. He is design principal for the new Exploratorium at Pier 15 in San Francisco.”

EHDD
EHDD has a deep portfolio of aquarium work; the most relevant to the needs of the Seattle Aquarium are the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California and the Exploratorium at Pier 15 in San Francisco. Both institutions cultivate a sense of wonder, community and civic responsibility for the waterfronts on which they reside.

On one or both of these projects, EHDD worked with:

  • facilities partially or totally over water
  • construction scheduled around tides (remaining open during construction)
  • multi-phased operations
  • major building expansions designed to withstand seismic forces
  • multiple agency involvement
  • flexible, changing exhibit space and use as event venue
  • adaptive re-use of selected structures
  • located on an historically significant property
  • significant life support systems and salt water intake; radiant heating and cooling

EHDD has a strong commitment to sustainability and a goal of setting a new standard for energy consumption in the Seattle Aquarium.

Next steps
Drawing on the deep technical and advanced software capabilities of his firm, L’Italien will, together with the Seattle Aquarium board and executive staff, select a team of exhibit designers, life support engineers, cost estimators and others. L’Italien and the team will be charged with developing alternative designs for the Seattle Aquarium expansion that meet the concept program requirements, and recommending a preferred design based on input from the variety of stakeholders. By this fall, the Seattle Aquarium will be submitting the preferred design to the Seattle City Council for their review/approval.

Hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium’s admission gate is open 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4-12) $14.95; Children 3 and younger are admitted FREE.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

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Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


March 19, 2014

Seattle Aquarium and NOAA Fisheries unveil new exhibit about Puget Sound

 

SEATTLE—The Seattle Aquarium Tuesday unveiled “Sound Choices,” a new exhibit created in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries that explores how our values and decisions, both as individuals and as a society, shape the future of Puget Sound.

“'Sound Choices’ could not be a more appropriate exhibit for the Aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of our marine environment,” said Seattle Aquarium President and CEO, Robert W. Davidson. “The choices we make every day have an impact on the world immediately around us. Our choices can make that world better.”

The exhibit builds on research by Dr. Phil Levin and his colleagues at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We’re helping people understand how community values about clean water, transportation and land use can affect the ecology of Puget Sound,” Levin said. The exhibit explores the social and economic tradeoffs associated with achieving conservation goals and highlights the role of individual and societal decisions in shaping our environment’s future.

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s ecosystem scientists work to identify what makes a healthy ecosystem, to understand the risks and benefits of management decisions, and to plan for future pressures on our region such as climate change and population growth.

More than 70 feet long, the exhibit replaces the “Sound to Mountains” panels on the east wall north of the Elliot Bay Window.

Hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4-12) $14.95; Children 3 and younger are admitted FREE.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

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Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


February 25, 2014

Seattle Aquarium to welcome “Chewy,” a new northern fur seal

 

SEATTLE—The Seattle Aquarium is expected to welcome the arrival late Tuesday night of a second northern fur seal to its marine mammal collection. Chewy, a 12-year old, 260-pound male, was transferred from the Moody Gardens aquarium in Galveston, Texas.

Visitors will be able to get their first glimpses of Chewy when the Aquarium opens at 9:30am Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to have Chewy join us,” said Aquarium biologist Julie Carpenter. Chewy joins Commander, a 10-year-old northern fur seal at the facility. “It will be great to give both seals a chance to socialize with each other,” Carpenter said.
The Seattle Aquarium has housed northern fur seals since opening in 1977 and was the first facility to have a northern fur seal pup conceived in captivity, born in a zoo or aquarium and survive into adulthood. It is currently a nonbreeding facility for northern fur seals.

Chewy, short for Chewbacca, was born at the New York Aquarium to a father named Yoda. He is one of only 11 northern fur seals in zoos and aquariums throughout the United States. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan manages northern fur seals, with the goal of ensuring the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population.

Chewy’s transportation was donated by FedEx Express.

“We are excited to have another male that can help tell the unique story of northern fur seals and inspire further conservation of this amazing species,” said Aquarium President and CEO Bob Davidson.
Adult northern fur seals spend the majority of the year in the Pacific Ocean looking for food. Only when they come ashore during the summer for mating season do they interact with other seals. Though it’s natural for fur seals to spend most of their lives alone, nonbreeding males are sometimes seen socializing in bachelor groups.
Chewy will meet Commander after a veterinarian releases him from quarantine.

Hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4-12) $14.95; Children 3 and younger are admitted FREE.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

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Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


February 6, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: Stuck on you: Octopus Week at Seattle Aquarium!

 

Octopus Blind Date, Valentine’s Day, February 14

 

Octopus Week Activities, February 15–23

 

SEATTLE—There’s lots to love about February—President’s Day weekend, mid-winter break and Valentine’s Day. Here in Seattle, we embrace them all as Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium. Join us February 14–23 for fun and learning about one of the coolest creatures in Puget Sound.

WHEN:
February 14–23

WHERE:
Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, Washington

WHAT:

  • Octopus Blind Date on Friday, February 14, starting at 12pm. Watch what happens when sixteen arms, six hearts (three hearts each) and two giant Pacific octopuses meet on Valentine’s Day. Aquarium biologists set the mood with decorative hearts, roses and romantic music at the Octopus Exhibit. But it’s up to the octopuses to decide whether or not love is in the water!
  • Live octopus release February 15 and 23 at 12pm. This always-popular event is back! Join us inside the Aquarium to watch live video feed as our biologists escort one of our octopuses to a new home below our pier.
  • Divers swimming with an octopus on February 16, 17 and 22 at 12pm. Get a really good view of an octopus and find out all kinds of cool information about this iconic Puget Sound animal. Located in the Window on Washington Waters exhibit.
  • Hands-on activities for kids of all ages February 15–23.

Winter hours/prices at the Aquarium:
The Aquarium’s admission gate is open 9:30am to 5pm daily, with the exhibits closing at 6pm. Admission fees: Adults $21.95; Youth (4-12) $14.95; Children three and younger are admitted FREE.

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On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org


January 17, 2014

Seattle Aquarium salutes Dr. Jane Lubchenco and Dr. Joe Gaydos as champions in ocean research and conservation

 

SEATTLE—The Seattle Aquarium bestowed its top awards Thursday to two Northwest scientists whose groundbreaking research and advocacy have made substantial contributions to conserving the marine environment. Drs. Jane Lubchenco and Joe Gaydos were honored at the Aquarium’s annual Chairman’s Dinner.

“The health of Puget Sound and all the planet’s water bodies depends upon strong scientific understanding translated into good public policy,” said Robert W. Davidson, President and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium. “The expertise and leadership of Jane Lubchenco and Joe Gaydos help us understand our role in a healthy natural world.”

Dr. Lubchenco, an internationally recognized scientist and marine ecologist, served as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator from 2009 to 2013. Her scientific expertise includes oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being.

Dr. Gaydos is the Chief Scientist and Regional Director for the SeaDoc Society, a program based on Orcas Island and part of the Wildlife Health Center at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California/Davis. As a wildlife veterinarian, he studies disease and population health in marine wildlife. For the last decade, his work has focused on improving the health of fish and wildlife populations in the Salish Sea.

The Chairman’s Dinner also recognized Linda Johnson with the Scott S. Patrick Inspirational Award, which is given to one board member who has been nominated by peers for contributions to the Seattle Aquarium. She has served on the Aquarium Board for 15 years, including leadership on many Aquarium projects, and is also involved in support of other major cultural institutions.

Images available by request.

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About Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium is one of Washington State’s leading environmental education and stewardship institutions, and the region’s gathering place for discussion and sharing information about marine conservation. It maintains a number of research initiatives in cooperation with federal, state, zoological and university partners. The Aquarium is located on Pier 59, at 1483 Alaskan Way.

On the web: SeattleAquarium.org
On Facebook: facebook.com/Aquarium.Seattle
On Twitter: twitter.com/SeattleAquarium

Contact:
Tim Kuniholm
(206) 386-4345
t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org