Press Room

Find news and recent press releases about the Aquarium.

April 30, 2014

MEDIA ADVISORY: Summer Fun at the Seattle Aquarium

WHEN: May 23–June 15

WHERE: Seattle Aquarium, 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, Wash.

WHAT:

May 23–26, Family Science Weekend: Join us Memorial Day Weekend to explore science at the Seattle Aquarium. Participate in hands-on activities, special talks and demonstrations about science and research taking place at the Aquarium. The whole family will enjoy all the fun that science has to offer!

Meet us at the Beach: Summer Beach Naturalists: Start your summer season off with some of the lowest tides of the year.

Be sure to visit a local beach this summer and meet the Beach Naturalists. They know their beaches. They can help you enjoy the beach without harming it. They can tell you what seastars eat, why barnacles stand on their heads and how moon snails lay their eggs. Visit the Aquarium website for all the Beach Naturalist dates, locations and beach directions.

June 7–8, World Ocean Weekend: Celebrate the world’s one big ocean with us. This year’s focus is ocean heroes: everyone, no matter where they live, can help keep the ocean clean and healthy. Learn how with a variety of hands-on activities and special demonstrations.

June 15, Octonauts visit on Father’s Day: The Octonauts are a team of undersea adventurers who are always ready to dive into action! Their mission: to explore new underwater worlds, rescue amazing sea creatures and protect the ocean. Meet Octonauts Captain Barnacles and Kwazii when they come to the Aquarium on June 15. Be sure to bring your camera, as you’ll be able to say “hi” and take pictures with them at 11am, 1pm and 2pm in the Puget Sound Hall.

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


May 1, 2014

Science News Magazine
Death of the Stars

The biggest known die-off of sea stars is sweeping North America’s coastal waters. Researchers are hurrying to identify the culprit and understand the impacts. One of those researchers helping to identify the problem is Seattle Aquarium's very own veterinarian, Lesanna Lahner. Read the article here and view the slideshow here.


May 1, 2014

The UTD Journal
The Seattle Aquarium Bringing UTD Principles to Scientific Divers

Seattle Aquarium's biologist and dive safety officer, Jeff Christiansen was recently interviewed in Unified Team Diving (UTD) Journal on bringing UTD principles to scientific divers. Read the article here.


April 30, 2014

Seattle Aquarium hires exhibits firm Thinc for expansion

SEATTLE—The Seattle Aquarium announced Wednesday that it has added leading aquarium exhibits firm Thinc, located in New York, to its expansion design team headed by lead architect EHDD. Thinc has more than 15 years of aquarium exhibit design experience and is led by founder Tom Hennes.

"Thinc is an expert at creating transformative experiences—ones that change what people think," said Aquarium President & CEO Bob Davidson. "That is what the Aquarium is all about: helping visitors change what they know, how they feel and how they act to protect our marine environment. The selection was based on Hennes' personal passion for explorable landscapes, leadership, listening skills, empathy for the organisms we share the planet with, as well as his relevant experience."

Hennes' launched Thinc in 1992. He is an exhibition thought leader with many years of experience in the design of public aquariums and museums, including, most notably, the 410,000 square foot California Academy/Steinhart Aquarium which opened in 2008.

Hennes' designs have been recognized with numerous local and national design and museum awards.

"I am looking forward to building on a great working relationship with Thinc Design," said Marc L'Italien, EHDD Principal. "Tom Hennes is a talented visionary and a great thinker. Our collaboration will allow for an influential and reciprocal relationship between architectural and exhibit experiences."

Aquarium expansion
In coordination with the Seattle Central Waterfront redevelopment planning, the Seattle Aquarium expects to expand by 70 percent (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 acres of new 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. The Aquarium is owned by the City of Seattle and operated by the nonprofit Seattle Aquarium Society.

Tom Hennes, Principal, Thinc
Hennes entered the exhibit design industry in 1992, but his interest began long before with theatre design. During his career, he's developed a strong reputation for creating spaces that offer visitors powerful personal experiences. His interest in environmental responsibility, combined with unique design aesthetics and responsible site construction invites guests to participate in the spaces. A dive instructor since 1993, Hennes has a personal passion for the ocean and its importance to the planet.

Thinc
Thinc has a broad spectrum of national and international clients, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Mystic Aquarium/Institute for Exploration and the Freedom Park in South Africa.

Thinc’s work features:

  • Original exhibit design
  • Exhibits with multiple distinct views
  • Seamless immersion
  • Interactivity happening between people
  • Illusionistic work
  • Maximization of views per gallon

Next steps
EHDD, together with Thinc, the Seattle Aquarium board and executive staff, life support engineers, cost estimators and others, will develop designs for the Seattle Aquarium expansion that meet the concept program requirements and are integrated into the City’s new Central Waterfront Strategic Plan. The Aquarium will seek input from a full range of stakeholders and submit a preferred design by year-end to the Seattle City Council for its review and approval.

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


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

# # #

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

# # #

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

# # #

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

# # #

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

 

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