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A Growing Focus...

When the aquarium was founded in 1937, the primary goal was entertainment. The dark interior was meant to create the feeling of swimming through an ocean cave at a time when respiration-aided diving was virtually unknown.

In the past several years, the focus has shifted to include education and community involvement as well as entertainment. We have reached beyond the walls of the actual building to participate in local events and projects geared toward a better understanding and appreciation of the North Coast marine environment.

In 1995, we became leaders in the regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In the next few years we added an Interpretive Center and helped start Seaside’s Estuary Beach Discovery Program. We have partnered with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and the City of Seaside to inform both visitors and local communities about beach safety, tides, different coastal habitats, and the animals who live there.

Kids at the Touch Tank

(Page 1 continued) A guest book invited visitors to share their Aquarium memories. Aquarium staff love hearing people’s stories, as new information is often revealed. This time, we heard from two nieces of John “Jack” and Helen Abbott, who worked and lived at the aquarium in the 1950’s. One of them solved the long-time mystery of the Seaside Aquarium’s postcard photo of seal pup in a toilet. She sent two photographs and explained how a seal pup ended up in such an unusual place (see photos below). If you have stories or photos of the Aquarium you would like to share, please drop us a line at

Many of the signs and articles posted for the 75th Anniversary celebration will remain in place through the year. There’s still time to take a peek!

Celebrations for Milestones

On our 30th Anniversary...

Aquarium owners Lillian Newman, Greta Smith, Vivian O’Brien and John O’Brien held an invitation-only open house from 8pm to 10pm for local business owners. They ate cake, toured the Aquarium, and of course, fed the seals.

On our 60th Anniversary...

Although no official celebration was held on the anniversary, the three new seal pups born that summer caused quite a stir.

On our 70th Anniversary...

Historic newspaper articles on the Aquarium were collected and posted throughout the building. The Aquarium hosted 1,500 visitors at rolled-back prices.

How do you get a baby seal to hold still and face the camera? Sue “Aleckson” Martin says this was Jack Abbott’s solution.

Seal on the Toilet Seal on the Toilet

Text by: Brandy Hussa

Photos by: Tiffany Boothe






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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.