Phase One of the Alaska SeaLife Center’s Rocky Coast Discovery Pools Completed
July 15, 2021

The Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) opened phase one of the Rocky Coast Discovery Pools on May 29, 2021. 

Development of the new touch pool exhibit began with design work in 2017. Installation required a complete demolition of the former touch pool originally built in 1998. The new 1,100-gallon exhibit, equipped with six pools, was inspired by similar exhibits at various Association of Zoos and Aquariums facilities in the United States. 

The Center is appreciative of generous supporters that made the exhibit possible including ConocoPhillips Alaska, First National Bank Alaska, Matson, Shoreside Petroleum, Petro Marine Services, and the Lindsey Family.

Acquiring materials to build the ambitious design was a herculean effort during a pandemic, and Matson donated a significant portion of tank transportation. “As a leading carrier of goods to Alaska, Matson feels a sense of obligation to help make Alaska a better place to live. Supporting the construction of a new touch pool is one way we can help increase Alaskans’ access to education while supporting the health of Alaska’s marine environment. We look forward to seeing the new touch pool in action and the future marine scientists it inspires,” said Matson Senior Vice President Alaska, Bal Dreyfus.

The Center was very appreciative to see contributions to the exhibit from long term supporters like ConocoPhillips Alaska. “ConocoPhillips Alaska has been investing in the Alaska SeaLife Center for more than 20 years, supporting important educational programs and critical projects, including the unique, interactive touch pools, and the ‘Save the Alaska SeaLife Center’ community campaign. The Center is entrusted to be a steward of this unique marine ecosystem, and ConocoPhillips Alaska and our many dedicated employees are proud to support this important work,” states ConocoPhillips Alaska President, Erec Isaacson.

The Lindsey Family has not only contributed to this new exhibit, but also helped shape the concept of the Center before it opened. “We, as a family, are especially happy to be participants in the creation of this fantastic new exhibit at the Alaska SeaLife Center. My late husband, Dale, and I were personally involved in the original founding of the Center, and our family has continued with ongoing support since that long-ago opening day event, May 2, 1998. We are excited to see the fruition of the dream of a new and wonderful touch pool,” recounts Carol Ann Lindsey.

Kurt R. Lindsey, President and CEO of Shoreside Petroleum and Petro Marine Services, is an equally strong supporter of the Center. “The Alaska SeaLife Center is a treasure that Alaskans and visitors alike can take pride in. The facility reflects the beauty of our State, the amazing creatures that God has created, and the need to be responsible stewards of our environment. All of us at Shoreside Petroleum and Petro Marine are grateful for the opportunity to partner with others to help make this exhibit possible,” states Lindsey.

The ASLC team wanted to ensure empathy and accessibility was highlighted in the touch pool design to create an educational and engaging experience for all. This goal was reflected in the project contributors, especially First National Bank Alaska. “First National Bank Alaska’s commitment to the education of Alaska’s youth is a key component of our mission to support the communities we serve,” said Betsy Lawer, First National Board Chair and CEO. “What better way to honor that commitment than this donation to Alaska SeaLife Center’s new touch pools. They are an integral part in this world-class research and education facility’s efforts to help Alaskans experience the wonders of our amazing marine environment."

The touch pools are available to explore during normal operating hours. The Alaska SeaLife Center is operating with controlled capacity to ensure a safe and enjoyable visitor experience. All guests, including members, are encouraged to reserve timed tickets in advance to secure their desired entry time:

About ASLC: Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) 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 or find us on Facebook.
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