Seward, Alaska (June 2, 2016) – Healthy oceans are vital for marine wildlife, and Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) will join people around the world on Wednesday, June 8—World Oceans Day—to bring renewed focus to that message and the day’s theme: Healthy oceans, healthy planet. To celebrate this event, ASLC will open its new underwater viewing exhibit, Nose 2 Nose: imagination and science will take you everywhere, provide fun activities for the whole family, and offer membership specials on June 8 and every Saturday in June.
World Oceans Day activities for all ages will be available on June 8 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and include an opportunity to shake wings with Tuffy the Puffin (11:00am, 1:00pm, & 3:00pm), embark on the Ocean Quest game to actively explore exhibits, culminating in a tasty reward, and post a World Oceans Day pledge selfie to the ASLC Facebook page. Alaska author Barbara Brovelli-Moon will also join ASLC to celebrate the day and will be in the gift shop from 10:00am to 2:00pm to sign her fun, educational activity books, “Marine Mammals of Alaska for Children” and “Land Mammals of Alaska: A Field Guide for Children.”
Additionally, a number of fun, multi-sensory activities will be available throughout the new Nose 2 Nose marine life exhibit on a daily basis, during regular ASLC hours. Nose 2 Nose enhances the underwater viewing area with a new Octopus Grotto where visitors can walk (or crawl) inside, see amazing fish models handcrafted by Alaska taxidermist Tom Kaiser, and learn more about resident octopuses and other marine dwellers. The exhibit also offers an array of interpretive installations and fun activities for the entire family. In addition to seeing eye-to-eye with octopuses, sea lions, seals, and a number of fish and bird species, Nose 2 Nose visitors will be invited to:
- Accept the Sea Ice Challenge, and hop from floe to floe
- Create an underwater symphony
- Make like a seal and try the Seal Hop, a Native Youth Olympics sport
- Become a marine real estate agent
Visitors will also not want to miss the wild sea lion cam. Pupping season has begun on Chiswell Island and visitors will want to check the Nose 2 Nose gallery monitor for any new pups that may be ready for their close up!
The new exhibit Coastal Impressions: A Photographic Journey Along Alaska’s Gulf Coast will be open for visitors to explore, as well. On loan from the Nature Conservancy, this beautiful photography display is part of the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council’s (CIRCAC) ShoreZone mapping project, and features select stunning large format images taken during the inventory of Alaska’s coastal biological and geological habitats. Sponsored by CIRCAC and developed in partnership with Auke Bay Laboratories of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the Alaska ShoreZone Program, this exhibit not only provides vital biological and geographical information on Alaska, but also allows visitors a window to areas of the state that few are fortunate enough to see.
In addition to exploring exhibits and activities, visitors will want to be sure to set their watches for the marine animal feedings scheduled on June 8!
- Sea lion feeding (second floor, sea lion habitat) 9:00am & 2:30pm
- Seal feeding (second floor, seal habitat) 9:45am & 4:30pm
- Bird broadcast feeding (second/first floors, aviary) 11:45am, 3:00pm, & 4:00pm
There is still more on the docket! Fascinating and informative presentations by ASLC staff will continue to be available daily in the galleries throughout June and July, including:
- Bird keeper presentation (second floor, aviary) 10:00am
- Pinniped presentation (first floor, Arctic Theater) 12:00pm
- ASLC Wildlife Response Program presentation (first floor, Arctic Theater) 3:30pm
Additionally, Sea Otter Encounter, Puffin Encounter, Marine Mammal Encounter, and Octopus Encounter tours, as well as Behind the Scene tours, continue to be available daily throughout the summer. Reservations are recommended for all encounters and tours (1-888-378-2525) and age restrictions apply.
Alaska SeaLife Center hours through September 4, 2016, are: Friday – Saturday – Sunday 8:00am – 9:00pm Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday 9:00am – 9:00pm
About the ASLC Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org.