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“Our communities are what shapes our lives and to know that the Seattle Aquarium is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everyone, no matter their ability, is included in their community is amazing.”
—Uma Srivastava, COO, KultureCity®
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“You’re so lucky when you can make your passion your vocation,” says Jeff Christiansen, who retired on March 12 after a career at the Seattle Aquarium that began nearly 40 years ago. Jeff’s passion? Scuba diving. “It’s the closest you can get to another world without going into space,” he says.
After a career in animal care that started when she was still in college, spanned 40 years and was capped off by 16 years and countless hours tending to and training the animals that make their homes with us here at the Seattle Aquarium, Curator of Birds & Mammals Traci Belting retired on March 4.
“I fell in love with nature and natural history. From that point on my path was clear,” says Dr. James Estes, recipient of the 2021 Seattle Aquarium Conservation Award.
A world-renowned marine ecologist and professor emeritus at the University of California Santa Cruz (retired in 2018), Dr. Estes is best known for his work on kelp forest ecosystem structure and function—particularly how it relates to sea otters as a keystone species. His career spanned over 40 years, including working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. During that time, he also mentored 30+ graduate students and published more than 180 papers.
“Conservation is a big puzzle, and my job demands that I am an ambassador both for the natural world and my fellow conservationists.”
In recognition of her three decades of courageous journalism, and making the pictures that tell the story of our planet, we are honored to present Cristina Mittermeier with this year’s Seattle Aquarium Sylvia Earle Medal.
Each year since 2004, the Seattle Aquarium has presented two outstanding individuals with our highest honors during a special event celebrating their accomplishments. The annual Ocean Conservation Honors dinner raises the visibility of ocean conservation, highlighting and celebrating the honorees’ aspirations and impact, and sharing the passion for the work and the difference our actions make on behalf of ocean health.
Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and our temporary closure to the public, the Aquarium continues the important work to fulfill our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. We do this in a variety of ways, including engaging the community through activities on our website, hosting virtual events like our upcoming Lightning Talks: Octopuses and Ocean Career Series, advocating for policies that protect the ocean and the animals that call it home…
The nearshore waters of the Salish Sea, around the Olympic Peninsula and south to the Columbia River, sustain diverse and fragile marine life as well as many human communities and cultures. Already faced with stressors like climate change and ocean acidification, this marine environment may soon confront another compounding danger: seabed mining.
Salmon play a key role in our economy and are the cornerstone of our local ecosystem, which supports us all. These amazing creatures are also critical to the health and well-being of Coast Salish peoples, who stewarded these lands and waters for generations and continue to do so today.
Millions of tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, and plastic debris is now found everywhere from polar sea ice to the bottom of the deepest ocean trench. Whales, dolphins, seabirds, sea turtles and other animals die every year because they get tangled up in plastic or fill their stomachs with plastic they mistake for food.
Get ready to be mesmerized by moon jellies, awed by octopuses and fascinated by fur seals: the Seattle Aquarium will reopen to the public on February 9, 2021! We can’t wait to welcome you back through our doors.
Although things will look different in the Olympia legislature this year due to COVID-19, the Seattle Aquarium is still gearing up to advance science-based measures to protect the ocean. Keep reading to learn about some of our top priorities for 2021.
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