E-Newsletter Articles

April 2014

Seattle Aquarium’s SeaChange Luncheon features Ted Danson as keynote

Ted Danson

On March 14, the Seattle Aquarium held its SeaChange luncheon with keynote speaker Ted Danson, passionate ocean advocate, celebrated actor and author of Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them. His message was simple: “There are ways we can actually save the oceans with our own individual actions.”

Meeghan Black was the emcee for the event, which also featured Aquarium volunteer Annie Spalding. Annie shared her personal passion for our oceans and how she has embraced a very personal effort to care for Puget Sound by implementing a plastic recycling program at her dental office. She said that volunteering at the Aquarium gave her the opportunity to turn her family’s battle with cancer into a “triumph over tragedy” by providing her with a meaningful way to make a difference.

Over 425 guests attended and generously donated over $118,000. The event was chaired by Seattle Aquarium board members Dianne Bell of Verizon, and Linda Springmann of Holland America Line.

SeaChange was generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Vulcan, Inc., and Luncheon Sponsor Holland America Line. The Aquarium gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of Regence Blue Shield, D.A.Davidson, Washington Trust Bank, Puget Sound Energy, Laird Norton Wealth Management, and Cushman & Wakefield Commerce.

Funds raised at SeaChange will be used to deploy our staff and volunteers on the beach, in classrooms, and at our exhibits to help change what people know, how they feel and what they can do to protect the ocean. We thank all those who attended and supported the Aquarium’s mission of Inspiring Conservation of our Marine Environment!

Bring the family to meet our new river otter, Molalla

River otters at the Seattle Aquarium

Molalla, our new, male North American river otter, is now on exhibit! Born at the Oregon Zoo on January 28, 2013 and named for a river in Oregon, he was transferred to the Seattle Aquarium in January. North American river otters are managed as part of an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) species survival plan, and it is through this plan that the recommendation was made for Molalla to reside at the Seattle Aquarium.

Molalla was in quarantine for observation for a short while then, once Aquarium biologists had a good understanding of his reactions to his new environment and responses to our other river otters through the protection of our holding area fences, an introduction plan was developed. He spent some time in the river otter exhibit by himself, while our other river otters (Waadah and Skagway) remained in the adjacent holding area. After witnessing a sufficient number of vocalization exchanges and posturing between Molalla and the older river otters, Aquarium biologists made the decision to officially introduce them to one another. All three were given access to the entire river otter exhibit complex so they could choose to be in close proximity or separate themselves during their socialization process.

The socialization process is lengthy, ongoing and is being carefully observed by Aquarium staff and volunteers. Says Curator of Mammals & Birds Traci Belting, “All three males need to figure out who’s the boss on any given day in an ever-changing social dynamic. In the wild, males are often solitary but will form social groups if food resources are abundant, which is certainly the case at the Seattle Aquarium.” She continues, “The acclimation has been progressing well. Lately all three males have been observed sleeping together in one big, furry, river otter pile. It can be difficult to determine where one otter begins and the other ends, with noses, legs and tails sticking out of the pile.”

Come see Molalla in action for yourself at the Seattle Aquarium! Interested in learning more about North American river otters? Click here.

Make your donation go further—GiveBIG day on May 6!

GiveBIG to the Seattle Aquarium

Mark your calendar! GiveBIG, a community-wide giving day presented by The Seattle Foundation, will take place on Tuesday, May 6. When you make a donation to the Seattle Aquarium on GiveBIG day, it will be partially matched by the generous sponsors of GiveBIG, increasing your impact.

Funds donated to the Seattle Aquarium on GiveBIG day will help provide marine science education to over 40,000 school children this year and fund important research on local species, like the giant Pacific octopus—all in support of our mission, Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.

Making a GiveBIG donation is simple:

  1. On May 6, visit the Seattle Aquarium’s page on the Seattle Foundation website at SeattleAquarium.org/GiveBIG.
  2. Click “Donate Now” to support your Aquarium and have your donation stretched by GiveBIG sponsors!

Thank you for supporting the Seattle Aquarium on GiveBIG day!

Hess Select donates sales percentage to Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

Through the end of May, Hess Select will donate one percent of all wine sales in the Seattle area to the Seattle Aquarium. Vibrant and flavorful, Hess Select wines are available in choices to please all palates. The company is also a longtime leader in sustainability. Please consider Hess Select when purchasing wine this spring—you’ll be supporting the Aquarium with every sip!

A message from our President & CEO

Bob Davidson

Spring is a time of new beginnings and we are definitely looking toward the future at the Seattle Aquarium. James Corner, the architect hired by the City to develop designs for Seattle’s transformed central waterfront, was in town in March presenting his latest designs. His proposed plans for around the Aquarium include a new Aquarium Plaza; space for Aquarium expansion; a reimagined Waterfront Park with a reflecting pool, water jets and a series of sea stacks surrounded by mist; a meandering walkway from just north of the Aquarium up to Steinbrueck Park; and Pier 62/63 with an open area out to the water featuring a rotating array of attractions.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reclaim our waterfront and turn it into something amazing. It will be a new, transformed “front door to our city,” a primary civic space on the waterfront. The Aquarium is perfectly positioned to be a major component of the new waterfront by dramatically increasing our impact through expanded programs, more educational opportunities and classroom facilities, and additional exhibit space.

Adding to the excitement, we have selected Marc L’Italien, Principal with the San Francisco architectural firm of EHDD, to lead a team of experts to develop concept designs for the future expansion of our facility. Designs will be reviewed by interested stakeholders and the public, and a preferred design will be selected to be reviewed and approved by the Seattle City Council in the fall of 2014.