NEWPORT, Oregon - After months of painfully being shut down, then a soft re-opening a couple of weeks ago, Newport's Oregon Coast Aquarium is ready to go full bore. The famed attraction opens up in its entirety on Monday.
"We are ready and eager to have our indoor exhibits open," said Carrie Lewis, President/CEO of the Aquarium. "While some areas will remain closed, such as the play area and café, we are eager to provide a wonderful experience for our guests, once again."
Since the initial partial opening earlier this month, only outdoor exhibits had been available. Now they have something new to show off.
During the extended closure, the team was busy remodeling a new Indo-Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. When the public returns, they will be the first to see this colorful new exhibit.
"With special thanks to long-time Aquarium board member and supporter, Al Gleason, we were able to start transforming our Oregon Kelp Forest exhibit into a warm water Indo-Pacific Coral Reef," Lewis sadi. "Mr. Gleason long believed that our guests should have the opportunity to see the tropical environments of the Pacific Ocean in contrast to our beautiful Oregon Coast exhibits."
Gleason's gift was matched by the aquarium's dedicated volunteers who you'll see talking about this exhibit on your next visit.
The Indo-Pacific has some of the most stunning and diverse reefs in the world. Attendees have the opportunity to get up close to observe fascinating animals and beautiful corals. These include the colorful tropical fish such as the yellow tang, birdnose wrasse, yellowband angelfish, sea goldies and many more, there are all kinds of shifting and shimmering fish waiting to catch your eye.
"The health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, guests and animals is our top priority," said Lewis. "We are limiting the number of guests per day, all tickets must be purchased online, social distancing and face coverings are required."
Meanwhile, on top of the other pandemic precautions, there is a one-way pathway throughout the aquarium, hand sanitizer stations will be along the way, and high-touch objects have been removed. The aquarium said that although Lincoln County is still in phase one, Oregon has allowed the opening of zoos and museums.