Harbor seals, Barney and Q!
The new harbor seal exhibit is almost complete. As the most prolific marine mammals in Puget Sound, harbor seals are the sentinels of our nearshore environment’s well-being. For this reason, it is important for us to teach visitors about them.
You can be part of building Barney’s new home. By making a donation today, you will make the harbor seal exhibit more accessible and enjoyable for visitors and more comfortable for Barney and his pool-mates.
OUR NEW EXHIBIT WILL:
- Increase water depth
- Replace the existing rusty chain link fence
with clear acrylic
- Allow visitors to get “nose-to-nose” with our animals
- Provide seating for up to 100 guests (or approximately three classrooms of students)
- Increase dry space where the seals rest and warm themselves
- Improve animal movement between exhibits and our Animal Care Center
- Assure the structural integrity of Pier 60, where the harbor seal exhibit is located
The first stage of the project will entail stabilizing Pier 60 by replacing decayed wood pilings with concrete steel-wrapped pilings. Next, we will install new concrete aprons around what will become the new seal exhibit. The City of Seattle is funding this element of the project with $3.5 million.
Then we will turn our attention to the exhibit itself and invest privately-raised donations of $3 million. We will add an additional 2 ½ feet of water depth to the tank, and replace the chain link fence with a modern acrylic surround. Tiered seating around the exhibit will allow visitors and students to comfortably gather and enjoy presentations by the Aquarium’s harbor seal experts. We will add additional animal “haul-out” space so the seals can rest and warm themselves.
This investment will allow us to expand our current collection from two animals to three or four, and we will be able to institute a harbor seal research breeding program. The new exhibit will allow us to offer a compelling narrative that builds empathy for the seals and develops knowledge about the consequences of human actions.
Your contribution is an investment in the mission and future of the Seattle Aquarium. We hope you will join the group of community supporters who are committed to helping the Seattle Aquarium’s vital role in teaching our citizens how to restore and preserve our piece of the world’s big ocean.