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Wet & Wild
Published: 09/14/2011
 
Immerse yourself in Passages of the Deep, an exhibit at Newport
Immerse yourself in Passages of the Deep, an exhibit at Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium that includes a series of underwater walkways leading you from the dark, quiet canyons of Orford Reef, through the sparkling and teeming waters of Halibut Flats, and finally into the vast blue expanse of the Open Sea.
Cindy Hanson, Oregon Coast Aquarium

An abundance of must-see marine exhibits & encounters await you at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is much more than a display of fish in small tanks. Walk the Passages of the Deep in an enclosed underwater walkway where sharks, rays and other fish native to the Oregon coast swim above, alongside and beneath you, as you
are immersed in their world. Swampland introduces visitors to the inhabitants of tropical swamps, and the comical sea otter and seal and sea lion exhibits are always popular. Investigate Sandy Shores with its anemones, shellfish and crustaceans, and interact with the animals of Rocky Shores in the touch tank. At the Seabird Aviary, see birds that live at sea for most of the year, returning to the Oregon coast in spring to mate and hatch their young. Stroll the Estuary Trail alongside the marshlands and see wildlife native to the area.

Built in the 1990s, the aquarium became the temporary home to Keiko, the Orca whale that had been rescued from poor circumstances in Mexico in 1996. In addition to its regular exhibits, the aquarium has many temporary displays and offers educational programs with a focus on the preservation of marine ecology. This fall, you can experience a behind-the-scenes encounter with the Giant Pacific Octopus, and there are numerous opportunities for youngsters to join group sleepovers in the aquarium complete with dinner and breakfast.

The aquarium is located at SE Ferry Slip Road, just off Highway 101 south of Newport. After Labor Day, aquarium hours are 10am to 5pm daily through Memorial Day. Admission prices for adults 18-64 are $15.95, seniors 65+ $13.95, ages 13-17 are $13.95 and children 3-12 are $9.95. - By Stella Bennett

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