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 830,000 annual visitors, including over 37,000 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 
Chief Executive Officer 


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 2012/2013 school year, the Aquarium provided over 37,000 students with marine science education programs.

200 Beach Naturalists made approximately 37,000 beach visitor contacts on 11 local beaches during low tides.

Distributed 250,000 Seafood Watch pocket guides for sustainable seafood consumer education and trained 100 local seafood restaurant personnel on sustainable seafood practices.

Five scientific papers were published in peer-reviewed journals; conducted field research efforts related to sea otters, Washington and Hawaii reef surveys.

Opened a new harbor seal exhibit that brings awareness of our iconic harbor seals and the role they play in monitoring the health of Puget Sound. 

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.
12/15/2005 $75,000.00support the New Currents Capital Campaign.


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