Seattle Aquarium 


The mission of the Seattle Aquarium is Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. To do so we must help citizens learn about the interconnectedness of human behavior, the ocean, and climate change. As our local population grows, we must all work to restore and preserve the spectacular beauty and health of Puget Sound. The Seattle Aquarium is uniquely positioned to help over 811,000 annual visitors, including over 40,000 students, each year understand and become aware of the impact they have on our marine environment.

Mission Statement
Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.
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Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59 
(206) 386-4300 

Mr. Robert W. Davidson 
President & CEO 


Seattle Aquarium Programs

Provide opportunities for animals to connect people to life's uncomplicated joys and wonders
Regardless of generation, race or gender, when an Aquarium visitor touches their first sea anemone, spots "Nemo" hiding in the coral, or rounds the corner and watches an Alaskan sea otter at play, a sense of joy and wonder overcomes them.

Gather and share information about Pacific Northwest marine animals
As experts in our field, we conduct important research on the giant Pacific octopus, sixgill sharks, Alaskan sea otters and many more local animals. Philosophically, we believe that the Aquarium plays an important role in the dissemination of not only our own scientific research but also the work of other scientists performing ocean research.

Teach people about our local marine life, stressors to the ocean's web of life and our need for ecosystem solutions
Our education strategy requires formal, independent evaluation of our structured programs and use of inquiry-based interactive teaching techniques.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

During the 2013/2014 school year, the Aquarium provided over 40,000 students from 592 schools nationwide with marine science education programs.

230 Beach Naturalists made approximately 60,576 beach visitor contacts on 10 local beaches during low tide days.

Increased involvement with Sea Star Wasting Disease with staff Veterinarian Dr. Lesanna Lahner taking on a leadership role in the research effort.

Our staff completed 9 scientific papers/presentations for publication.

Significant energy efficiency upgrades made to our building throughout 2014 will reduce our carbon footprint by 24% and energy-related expenses by $100,000 a year.

In 2014, a total of 1,282 volunteers donated 100,755 hours of service. This time is valued at $2.2 million and 48 full-time equivalent staff. This includes over 32,493 hours of volunteer service by 280 youth.

In March we hosted our first Dream Night event for children with disabilities or chronic illnesses and their families. Working with local partners, including Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Aquarium welcomed 474 guests for this very special evening

The Seattle Aquarium is currently seeking general operating funds to be distributed for animal care, education and outreach, and research.


The Seattle Aquarium believes that the key to learning about and preserving the marine environment lies in experiencing it first-hand.
Best Practices
In 2010 Aquarium moved from being managed by the city to being city owned and nonprofit managed. This structure has become the best practice management model for aquariums across the country and allows the Seattle Aquarium to be mission focused while maintaining the programming at a level that couldn’t be provided by city government.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
The Aquarium’s education staff conducts targeted outreach to public schools serving high percentages of low-income children, providing free admission and bus service to improve access for these students, as well as scholarships to low-income children who want to attend summer camps. Earlier this year, the Aquarium added a new community engagement division, which will focus on audiences beyond the Aquarium walls, particularly underrepresented and special-needs populations.
Proven Success
With more than 800,000 visitors annually (and visits up 3% so far in 2012) the Seattle Aquarium is the 8th largest aquarium in the nation by attendance. This success has made them a leading platform for preservation of the Puget Sound and marine conservation in general.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

3/10/2013 $5,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2012 $100,000.00to support construction of the Harbor Seals exhibit. This is a challenge grant, with $25,000 released immediately and the remaining $75,000 to be released contingent upon raising a matching amount by June 1, 2013.
3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/17/2008 $30,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/21/2007 $50,000.00support the New Currents Campaign for an Expanded Aquarium.


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