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April 22, 2016
ASLC shifting 98% of the Center's heating needs from fossil fuel to ocean water as source heat

Ground breaking CO2 refrigerant heat pump system first to replace oil/electrical boilers in U.S.A.

March 15, 2016
Sea Otter Pups From Kachemak Bay and Cordova Latest in Record Breaking Trend

Veterinarians at ASLC express concern heading into 2016 stranding season
Seward, Alaska (March 14, 2016) - Veterinarians at the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) say there is every indication that 2016 will be another record year for their Wildlife Response Program following admission of two sea otter pups in the past month.
Already this year the non-profit organization, which is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife rehabilitation entity in Alaska, has recorded 80 reports alone involving otters, and that is before the summer stranding season has even begun. That number compares with a total 300 otters reported to the Center in 2015, 116 of which became cases the Center was directly involved in, peaking last September at a rate 16 times higher than for the same period in 2014.
Otter EL1620 was received into the Center from Cordova on March 7, following on the heels of otter EL1616, a pup stranded in the Kachemak Bay area. While sea otter EL1620 was observed to be a healthy size and weight, its stranding location and other factors raised concerns for the ASLC Wildlife Response Team who ultimately determined to admit EL1620. Pup EL1616 was observed in waters off Homer, appearing malnourished with other signs of stranding and an imminent threat of killer whales surrounding the pup.
Sea otters under six months require 24-hour watch. Typically ASLC staff expect to be on 24/7 duty during the summer stranding season; however, over the past ten month period the ASLC Wildlife Response Team has been on the mandatory 24-hour watch continuously with the exception of 21 days.
According to ASLC veterinarian Carrie Goertz, there is a general increase across all causes of otter deaths and there are some indications that something new may be exacerbating the situation.
“It’s hard to say how much impact the uptick in algal blooms or the El Nino pattern is having,” says Goertz. “However, the feeling is that it must be having some impact which is distressing since both are expected to continue this year.”
Currently the ASLC has six sea otters in residence. With the beginning of the stranding season later this spring, staff fully anticipates the trend to continue.
The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only permanent marine rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to wildlife such as seals, walrus and sea otters. The Center’s Wildlife Response Program responds to sea otters with the authorization of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Once a sea otter is admitted to the Center, it is closely monitored by the veterinary and animal care staff at ASLC.
Alaska SeaLife Center President and CEO Tara Riemer explained, “We have no federal or state funding to care for sea otters, and we rely on donations to keep this program going. We especially thank individual Alaskans all around the state as well as Shell Exploration and Production and ConocoPhillips Alaska for their generous contributions to the Center in support of wildlife rescue and oil spill response readiness.”
The Alaska SeaLife Center operates a 24-hour hotline for the public to report stranded marine mammals or birds, and encourages people who have found a stranded or sick marine animal to avoid touching or approaching the animal. Call first! 1-888-774-SEAL.
About the ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit
High resolution photos and full story available from; 907-224-6397.

March 14, 2016
Adorable Otters! ASLC Announces Otter Encounter Tours

Seward, Alaska (March 10, 2016) - The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is inviting visitors to get a closer look at the adorable and charismatic sea otters currently in residence at the Center, including a tiny fur ball of a pup. This is the first time the public can view these otters.
Each of the otters was admitted to the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program after being stranded in various locations across Southcentral Alaska as far back as July of last summer and as recently as March. The ASLC, a non-profit organization, is the only permitted marine mammal wildlife rehabilitation entity in Alaska.
In addition to viewing from the Center’s general admission areas and “I.Sea.U.” overlook, for a limited time this spring, the sea otters are the latest animals to be added to the list of ASLC Animal Encounter Tours.
“I tell people who come to see the otters, don’t worry about how cute they are, let me tell you how cool they are,” says Emmy Wood, an ASLC mammalogist who specializes in otter care.
The 30-min Otter Encounter Tours are led by expert animal care givers from the ASLC and are suitable for ages 6 and up. Visitors will learn more about sea otters, a highly specialized keystone species in the marine ecosytem. Participants will also have the opportunity to join animal care givers to observe a feeding or animal enrichment session in the outdoor otter pool.
Young otters are entirely dependent on their mothers for up to nine months. Admitting the tiny patients to the Center’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program means standing in for otter moms to provide constant care for the duration, teaching them all the skills they need to survive from basic potty training and grooming – and the laundry that goes with that – to teaching the otters how to forage for food.
ASLC general admission is $21.95 Adults (13+), $19.95 Seniors (65+), $11.95 Child (4-12), Free for 3 & under. Alaska resident and U.S. military discounts avaialable. Otter Encounter Tours cost $24.95 per person for adults (13 and older) and $19.95 per person for children ages 6 -12 in addition to general admission. Minimum age for Otter Encounter Tour is 6 years old. Maximum of 12 people per tour. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Limited space available. To book a reservation please call our Reservation Hotline 1-888-378-2525 or email Proceeds from admission and tours support the work of the ASLC, a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium.
About the ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit
High resolution photos and full story available from; 907-224-6397.

February 3, 2016
Alaska SeaLife Center Announces Alaska Ocean Leadership Award Recipients

Seward, Alaska (January 22, 2016) – The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Alaska Ocean Leadership Awards. These awards are given annually to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the awareness and sustainability of the state’s marine resources. The Alaska SeaLife Center appreciates the support provided by the award sponsors and thanks the Awards Committee members: Denby Lloyd, Molly McCammon, Lisa Busch, Ian Dutton, Jason Brune, Michael Castellini and Phyllis Shoemaker for assistance in selecting the awardees.

Two of the awards will be presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium on January 25, 2016 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, Alaska. The remaining awards will be presented at the Alaska Marine Gala on February 13, 2016 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For additional information, visit or contact Nancy Anderson, or 907-224-6396.

Following are the 2016 Alaska Ocean Leadership Award winners:

Captain Ed Page will receive the prestigious Walter J. and Ermalee Hickel Lifetime Achievement Award. The late Governor Walter J. Hickel and his wife Ermalee endowed this award for 10 years to recognize an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the management of Alaska’s coastal and ocean resources over a period of 20 years or more. Through his tireless efforts to promote safety, stewardship, and environmental protection of the marine environment, Captain Ed Page has been an exemplary leader and public servant on behalf of Alaska's oceans. Even after 29 years of service with the United States Coast Guard, Captain Page chose not to retire. Instead, he put his extensive maritime experience, knowledge of marine law, contacts with the shipping industry, talent for communication, and passion for the ocean to good use by creating the Marine Exchange of Alaska in 2000. Under his leadership, the Marine Exchange of Alaska tracks and monitors over 2,000 vessels in the 1.2 million square miles of ocean bordering Alaska. The Marine Exchange makes it more likely that potential vessel-related problems at sea will be detected, thereby preventing unseen marine accidents. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Gala.

 The nonprofit organizationSeaShare will receive the Stewardship & Sustainability Award. This award is sponsored by Jason Brune, and honors an industry leader that demonstrates the highest commitment to sustainability of ocean resources. SeaShare leads our seafood industry in a collective effort to improve nutrition for the people served by our nation’s food bank network. SeaShare combines the generosity of fishermen with processors, service providers, and financial donors to generate high volumes of donated seafood. SeaShare started in 1994 with an Experimental Fishing Permit to retain Prohibited Species Bycatch in Dutch Harbor and use those valuable fish resources for hunger relief. Over 20 years later, SeaShare remains the only organization authorized by NMFS to coordinate donations from over 120 boats and shore plants in Alaska. To date, this has resulted in 4 million pounds of fish distributed in communities such as Anchorage, Kodiak, Juneau, Cordova, Fairbanks, St. Paul, Kotzebue, Galena, Nome, Diomede, Savoonga and Wales. It’s a great story of fishermen and processors who respect the resource and who want to see that fewer fish are wasted. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Gala.

Sofia Astaburuaga will receive the Hoffman-Greene Ocean Youth Award, which is sponsored by Dale Hoffman.The award honors an individual or team of Alaskan youth ages 12-19 who have displayed a dedication to promoting the understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s oceans. Sofia is an active member of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, and is passionate about working with teens on issues related to climate change and the environment. She has worked on habitat restoration and resource monitoring efforts in Prince William Sound and the Chugach National Forest, as well as salmon habitat restoration through the Student Conservation Association. This past year, Sofia has been working with researchers at the University of Alaska to investigate the effects of plastics on seabirds in the Aleutians. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Gala.

Arliss Sturgulewski will be recognized with the Ocean Ambassador Award. The Ocean Ambassador Award was created to recognize an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions in promoting public awareness and appreciation of Alaska’s oceans, coasts, and marine ecosystems. Arliss is well-known throughout the state of Alaska for her service in political office and on many key advisory committees related to marine research and outreach. She is an active champion for the wise use of Alaska’s resources. While serving in the Alaska State Senate from 1979 to 1993, Arliss was an advisor to the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission. She fought against foreign fishing in US waters and championed the Community Development Quota program that supports local Alaska communities and fisheries. She has also been a member of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Advisory Council since 1992 and has served on the Alaska Sea Grant Program Statewide Advisory Committee since 2003. In these roles, she has been actively supportive of expanded marine research capacities in the state, as well as providing scholarship opportunities to students. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Gala.

Susan Saupe will receive the Marine Science Outreach Award. This award is given to a person, team or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to ocean literacy via formal or informal education, media or other communications. It is co-sponsored by the University of Alaska, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and the Alaska Ocean Observing System. Susan grew up on Kodiak Island, earned a Master’s degree in Chemical Oceanography, and has conducted research at sea throughout Alaska. She has been with the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council since 1996, and drew on her previous experiences to build their science program. Her role as Director of Science and Research provides unique opportunities to bridge the gap between marine researchers and coastal communities. Susan includes outreach in each program component – whether talking about oceanography, contaminants monitoring, coastal habitat mapping and assessments, or oil fate and effects research – to build meaningful partnerships. By seeking commonalities, Susan leverages funding, logistics, and expertise to collect and deliver user-friendly information about Alaska’s marine environment to a wider range of research, educational, agency, industry, and community users. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

Dr. Gunnar Knapp was selected toreceive the Marine Research Award, sponsored by Drs. Clarence Pautzke and Maureen McCrea. This honor is given to a scientist, team of scientists, or an institution that is acknowledged by peers to have made an original breakthrough contribution to any field of scientific knowledge about Alaska’s oceans. Dr. Gunnar Knapp has been studying fisheries management, fisheries markets, and the world seafood industry for more than twenty-five years, focusing particularly on the Alaska salmon industry. Gunnar’s willingness and ability to build close links with all sectors of the industry make him an inspiration to researchers in his field.  During the 1990’s, he began the Salmon Market Information Service for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. He co-authored the major 1997 report “The Great Salmon Run: Competition between Wild and Farmed Salmon.” He has written numerous articles and reports on salmon markets, trends in limited entry permit ownership, the effects of halibut and crab IFQs, the Chignik salmon co-op, implications of climate change, and the economic impacts of Alaska fisheries. Dr. Knapp is closely engaged with the seafood industry and policy makers in Alaska. Currently, he is writing a book, The Economics of Fish, which is intended as an introduction to the insights provided by economics about fisheries, aquaculture and the seafood industry. Award to be presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium.

About the ASLC

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium, with wildlife response and education programs. It generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote 

January 23, 2016
The 2016 Alaska Marine Gala is Proud to Announce Joel Sartore as Guest Speaker

Joel Sartore, Guest Speaker for 2016 Alaska Marine Gala

Seward, Alaska (January 22, 2016) -  Photographer, conservationist and National Geographic Fellow, Joel Sartore, is the guest speaker for the 2016 Alaska SeaLife Center’s annual fundraising event, the Alaska Marine Gala.
Sartore’s multimedia presentation will feature his work on endangered species and landscapes from around the world. Sartore is founder of Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to save species and habitats. Over 5,000 species have been photographed to date, including animals from the Alaska SeaLife Center.
The Alaska Marine Gala takes place Feb. 13 at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage. For event information and tickets, visit

About the ASLC
Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates a private, non-profit research institution and public aquarium. ASLC's mission is to generate and share knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska's marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit



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