Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium is a public aquarium opened in 1977 and located on Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, USA. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle - Pier 59 - 01
Date openedMay 20, 1977[1]
LocationPier 59, Seattle, Washington, USA
Coordinates47°36′28″N 122°20′35″W / 47.6076966°N 122.3431277°WCoordinates: 47°36′28″N 122°20′35″W / 47.6076966°N 122.3431277°W
Volume of largest tank400,000 US gal (1,500,000 l)[2]
Annual visitors836,720 (2009)[3]


The aquarium opened on May 20, 1977, and was initially owned and operated by the City of Seattle, Department of Parks and Recreation. On July 1, 2010, the nonprofit Seattle Aquarium Society, the official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for the Seattle Aquarium, assumed management of the Seattle Aquarium from the city.[5] Architects for the facility were Bassetti/Norton/Metler/Rekevics.[6]

The aquarium promotes marine conservation and instructs over 800,000 visitors each year, including 50,000 students, to learn about their impacts on marine life. It also conducts research on marine life. In 2007, an 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) expansion opened that includes a new 2,625-square-foot (243.9 m2) gift store and café, as well as two new exhibits: Window on Washington Waters and Crashing Waves.


Salmon Aquarium
Rockfish in the underwater dome at The Seattle Aquarium.
Seattle Aquarium view along Alaskan Way Seattle Washington
View of Seattle Aquarium along Alaskan Way, Seattle
Seattle Aquarium Fish Ladder
The salmon ladder
  • Window on Washington Waters is a 120,000-US-gallon (450,000 l) tank created as part of the 2007 expansion. It is meant to replicate the coastal waters of Washington state from about 5 to 60 feet (1.5 to 18.3 m), and feature native marine life including salmon, rockfish, and sea anemones. There are dive shows which take place several times a day. Divers wearing special masks are able to converse with visitors.[7][8]
  • The Crashing Waves Exhibit is a 40-foot (12 m) wave tank that replicates Washington shores from the intertidal zone to a depth of about 5 feet (1.5 m).[8][9]
  • Life on the Edge was opened in 2002. Two large exhibit pools that include touch zones allow visitors to see the tidepool life of Washington's outer coast and of Seattle's inland sea.[10]
  • Life of a Drifter includes a 12-foot (3.7 m) high glass "donut" where visitors can be surrounded by moon jellies, a multi-species display featuring the giant Pacific octopus, and a 13-foot (4.0 m) touch table where visitors can view some of the area's drifters including juvenile rockfish, sea stars, and plankton.[11]
  • Pacific Coral Reef is a man-made coral reef in a 25,000-US-gallon (95,000 l) tank that contains fish that live in and around reefs.
  • Ocean Oddities is an exhibit displaying pinecone fish, cowfish, flying gurnards, potbellied seahorses, and short dragonfish.
  • Birds and Shores consists of three separate areas. Northwest Shores is an area which shows birds in a variety of habitats of the coastal Northwest. Alcids has diving birds such as tufted puffins and common murres. There is also a Shorebird exhibit.[12]
  • The Marine Mammals area includes exhibits for harbor seals, Northern fur seals, sea otters, and river otters,[9] as well as the Orca Family Activity Center. The Orca Family Activity Center is meant to educate visitors about orcas, particularly those belonging to the Southern Resident Community residing in Puget Sound.[13]
  • Puget Sound Fish is a three-part exhibit that contains fish from the Puget Sound. Fish included in the tank are grunt sculpins, Pacific spiny lumpsuckers, midshipman fish, canary rockfish, wolf eels, and decorated warbonnets.[14]
  • The Underwater Dome is an exhibit viewed from a mostly transparent spherical undersea room in a 400,000-US-gallon (1,500,000 l) tank. It was built as part of the original construction and opened in 1977. The tank exhibits species that would be found in Puget Sound including salmon, Lingcod, sharks, sturgeon, skates, and rockfish.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Underwater Dome". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Quick Facts". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Currently Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  4. ^ "Seattle Aquarium Society". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Bassetti Architects: Seattle Aquarium". Bassetti Architects. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Window on Washington Waters". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Almost There: Work Continues on the Expanded Aquarium" (PDF). Currents. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Aquarium Society (Spring 2007): 3. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Welcome to Seattle Aquarium". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Life on the Edge". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  10. ^ "Life of a drifter". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Birds and Shores". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Orca Family Activity Center". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Puget Sound Fish". Seattle Aquarium. Retrieved 27 February 2011.

External links

Bassetti Architects

Bassetti Architects is an architectural firm based in Seattle, Washington with a second office in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1947, the firm has newly designed or substantially renovated several well-known Seattle landmarks and many schools in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area. This includes several buildings at the Pike Place Market, the Jackson Federal Building, Seattle City Hall, the Seattle Aquarium, Franklin High School, Raisbeck Aviation High School, Roosevelt High School, and Stadium High School. The firm's work has been awarded local, national, and international awards.

Central Waterfront, Seattle

The Central Waterfront of Seattle, in the state of Washington, US, is the most urbanized portion of the Elliott Bay shore. It runs from the Pioneer Square shore roughly northwest past Downtown Seattle and Belltown, ending at the Broad Street site of the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Central Waterfront was once the hub of Seattle's maritime activity. Since the construction of a container port to its south in the 1960s, the area has increasingly been converted to recreational and retail uses. As of 2008, several century-old piers are devoted to shops and restaurants. There are several parks, a Ferris wheel, an aquarium, and one over-water hotel.

Some docks remain on the Central Waterfront, under the authority of the Port of Seattle, including a cruise ship dock, ferry terminals, and a fireboat dock. There are many architectural vestiges of the area's past status as the heart of a port, and a handful of businesses have remained in operation since that time.

Colman Park (Seattle)

Colman Park is a 24.3-acre (98,000 m2) park in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, located just south of the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge (Interstate 90) along Lake Washington and inland to 31st Avenue S.

Fairview Park (Seattle)

Fairview Park is a 0.8-acre (3,200 m2) park located in Seattle, Washington, on the eastern shoreline of Lake Union along Fairview Avenue E. between E. Hamlin and Allison Streets. It includes a P-Patch and a boat launch.

Frink Park

Frink Park is a 17.2 acre (70,000 m²) park in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It is a heavily wooded hillside and ravine through which flows Frink Creek. Most of the park is bounded by 31st Avenue S. in the west, 34th Avenue S. in the east, and the rights-of-way of S. Main Street in the north and S. King Street in the south. Lake Washington Boulevard S. and S. Frink Place are recreational drives within the park.

Frink Park borders Leschi Park in its northwest corner.

The land for the park was donated to the city in 1906 by parks commissioner John M. Frink.

Hamilton Viewpoint

Hamilton Viewpoint is a 16.9-acre (6.8 ha) public park in the West Seattle neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, United States. It was acquired by the city in 1914 and became a park 40 years later. Its namesake is Rupert L. Hamilton, a noted figure in the West Seattle community who helped establish the park. It had previously been known as West Side Park and Duwamish Head Park.

Interlaken Park (Seattle)

Interlaken Park is a 51.7 acres (0.209 km2) park in Seattle, Washington. A heavily wooded hillside and ravine, it forms the division between Capitol Hill to the south and Montlake to the north. Interlaken Drive E. runs through the park north to south, and E. Interlaken Boulevard, part of which is now closed to traffic, does so northwest to southeast. Louisa Boren Park, once part of Interlaken Park, lies directly south.

Kobe Terrace (Seattle)

Kobe Terrace is a 1-acre (4,000 m2) public park in the International District neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. It incorporates the Danny Woo International District Community Garden. Named after Kobe, Seattle's sister city in Japan, it occupies most of the land bounded on the west by 6th Avenue S., on the north by S. Washington Street, on the east by Interstate 5, and on the south by S. Main Street.

Some of the wood structures in the Danny Woo Garden were constructed by the Howard S. Wright design/build studio of the University of Washington College of Architecture and Urban Planning under the direction of Steve Badanes.

The former Nippon Kan Theatre is adjacent to the park.

Lakeview Place

Lakeview Place is a 185-square-foot (17.2 m2) park in Seattle, Washington. According to the city parks department as of 2013, it was the smallest park in Seattle.

Lincoln Park (Seattle)

Lincoln Park is a 135 acres (0.55 km2) park in West Seattle between Fauntleroy Way S.W. and Puget Sound. One of Seattle's largest parks, attractions include the paved walkway along the beach, tennis courts, baseball fields, picnic shelters, and a heated saltwater swimming pool during the summer. The park is easily accessible by car, boat or bus and is located next to the Washington State Ferries Fauntleroy terminal. The park is adjacent to the Fauntleroy neighborhood.

Montlake Playfield

Montlake Playfield is a 27 acre (100,000 m²) park and playfield on Portage Bay in the Montlake neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.

Originally a 20-foot-deep peat bog, the playfield site was first developed as part of a dahlia farm. The farm extended considerably further south than the present playfield: its southernmost part was south of Lynn Street, the land used to build St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. In the late 1920s, the principal of Garfield High School declared the need of a playfield and community center, and the farm was chosen. After some controversy and condemnation proceedings, the playfield was dedicated in 1935.

In 1960, to remedy flooding, the playfield began to be raised with fill, including dirt from the excavation of State Route 520 through Montlake. The ground remains uneven and boggy to this day.


Nitrosopumilus maritimus is an extremely common archaeon living in seawater. It is the first member of the Group 1a Thaumarchaeota to be isolated in pure culture. Gene sequences suggest that the Group 1a Thaumarchaeota are ubiquitous with the oligotrophic surface ocean and can be found in most non-coastal marine waters around the planet. It is one of the smallest living organisms at 0.2 micrometers in diameter. It lives by oxidizing ammonia to nitrite. N. maritimus is capable of oxidizing ammonia at levels as low as 10 nanomolar, near the limit to sustain its life. This organism was isolated from sediment in a tropical tank at the Seattle Aquarium by a group led by David Stahl (University of Washington).

In taxonomy, "Candidatus Nitrosopumilus" is a genus of the Nitrosopumilaceae.

Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation, officially the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), is the department of government of the city of Seattle, Washington, responsible for maintaining the city's parks, open space, and community centers.

The total area of the properties maintained by the department is over 6,200 acres (25 km2), which makes up approximately 11% of the total area of Seattle. Of those 6,200 acres (25 km2), 4,600 acres (19 km2) are developed.As of 2007, the department managed 450 parks, 485 buildings, and 22 miles (35 km) of boulevards. Facilities include 185 athletic fields, 122 children's playgrounds, four golf courses, 151 outdoor tennis courts and an indoor tennis center, 26 community centers, two outdoor and eight indoor swimming pools, as well as viewpoints, fishing piers, boat ramps, the Volunteer Park conservatory, the Washington Park Arboretum, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Woodland Park Zoo.The department's 2007 operating budget was US$117 million. Its largest park is Discovery Park in Magnolia, and its oldest park Denny Park in South Lake Union.Seattle Parks and Recreation is run by a superintendent and advised by a volunteer Board of Park Commissioners.

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Alice Earle DSc (née Reade; born August 30, 1935) is an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. She is also part of the group Ocean Elders, which is dedicated to protecting the ocean and its wildlife.

Ted Griffin (orca capturer)

Edward "Ted" Griffin is a former aquarium owner and entrepreneur, and was the first man to ever swim with a killer whale (orca) in a public exhibition. He is best known for capturing, performing with, and selling a number of orcas during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

A fisherman had set up a fishing net in the offing of the small cannery town of Namu, British Columbia, Canada. But an anchor had snapped off, causing the net to drift to another bay, ultimately trapping a blackfish in a narrow bay. After attempting to reclaim the net, the man and his mate were surprised to find that an orca had been trapped in the net, considering orcas do not typically jump over nets. The two men returned to port and decided that he could make a hefty amount of money from the orca. Thus, the man called Vancouver Aquarium to make a deal, but the man wanted $10,000 in cash no less than in $20 bills. The aquarium simply could not comply since all of the banks were closed. Though, the Seattle Marine Aquarium worked tirelessly to attain the funds to the liking of the fisherman. So, a representative of the aquarium arrived with a purse filled with $10,000 like the man ordered. So, the money was hand-counted, and the orca was sold. A man named Reguald "Curly" Marinas got straight to designing a cage to tow the orca behind a boat to Seattle. Alas, Namu the killer whale made its way to captivity.

Griffin had and owned the Seattle Marine Aquarium on Pier 56 on the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, which opened in 1962 and was originally known as the Seattle Public Aquarium (not to be confused with the contemporary Seattle Aquarium).

In 1965 Griffin purchased the orca Namu after it was accidentally caught in a fishing net, and then displayed it and performed with it at his aquarium. Namu was only the third orca ever captured and was the first to perform and swim with a person for audiences. Namu survived just over one year in captivity and died in his pen on July 9, 1966. Griffin also captured the original Shamu in 1965 and leased (and eventually sold) her to SeaWorld in San Diego. Altogether, Griffin and his partner Don Goldsberry captured and sold about 30 orcas in and around Puget Sound between 1965 and 1972. They charged buyers $20,000 to $25,000 per captured orca. Their largest capture took place in August 1970, when they netted most of all three pods of the Southern Resident orca population. When activists attempted to cut the nets, four animals drowned, included three calves. Griffin and Goldsberry attempted to conceal the deaths by weighting and sinking the bodies, but months later the carcasses washed up. This operation also resulted in the capture of the orca Lolita, who is currently kept in Miami and has been subject of petitions and legal actions to retire her to more natural life conditions. In May 1972, in response to rising regulation, Griffin retired from orca capture and sold his portion of the Seattle Marine Aquarium to Goldsberry, who soon after sold it to Sea World.

In 1982 Griffin published Namu, Quest for the Killer Whale, a non-fiction account of his time with Namu and the transformation of public views of killer whales.

Waterfront Fountain

Waterfront Fountain is an outdoor 1974 fountain and sculpture by James FitzGerald and Margaret Tomkins, installed along Alaskan Way in Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington. The fountain is located adjacent to the Seattle Aquarium at Waterfront Park on Pier 59.FitzGerald created several fountains for parks around the Seattle area, including one at the Seattle Center for the Century 21 Exposition in 1962. He was commissioned to design a fountain for the new Waterfront Park, but died in 1973 before work was finalized. The project had been funded by a $75,000 donation from Helen Martha Schiff. Following his death in 1973, his widow Margaret Tomkins lead the effort to complete the fountain's design. It was completed alongside the park in October 1974.

Waterfront Park (Seattle)

Waterfront Park is a public park on the Central Waterfront, Downtown, Seattle, Washington, USA. Designed by the Bumgardner Partnership and consultants, it was constructed on the site of the former Schwabacher Wharf (Pier 58).

Westlake Square

Westlake Square is a 0.01-acre (0.0040 ha) park in Seattle, Washington, adjacent to Westin Seattle. It was formerly a combination streetcar stop and underground comfort station. The former comfort station was demolished and filled in 1964.In 2010, Seattle Department of Transportation redeveloped Westlake Square and adjacent McGraw Square into a new plaza for the South Lake Union Streetcar.

Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.

Zoos of Washington
City parks and

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