To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially among our more vulnerable staff, volunteers and visitors, the Visitor Center will be closed until further notice. Please refer to this website for updates.
The Oregon Sea Grant-operated Visitor Center is the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Over 150,000 people pass through the doors of the Visitor Center annually to see the exhibits, join in hands-on activities and learn about marine animals and issues facing the coast. Take a video tour of the Center.
Even though we're closed, you can still get up close to the octopus.
Aquarists will feed the giant Pacific octopus at 1 pm Monday, Thursday and Saturday. While there won't be a presentation, there will be more activity at this time via the OctoCam.
Here is a video of an earlier feeding and playtime. Octopuses are cleaver, inquisitive creatures who need social time to stay healthy and happy. Did you know octopuses are considered to be the smartest invertebrates on the planet? They can even use tools. Watch this coconut octopus use clamshells to catch a crab.
Even though we are homebound we can still keep learning.
Motivated STEM-loving educators around the country are sharing their know-how and resources. To make it easy to access this material, our sister program Oregon Coast STEM Hub has put together a calendar of online events and resources the whole family can enjoy.
This spiny creature is a California sea cucumber.
It is found along the entire west coast of the United States. They live in low intertidal zones up to waters as deep as 250 meters (820 feet). Their ideal spot has moderate currents and cobbles, boulders or bedrock.
The California sea cucumber is a scavenger. It feeds by sifting through sediments with its tentacles, or by laying in a spot in the current where it can use its tentacles to catch food flowing by.
These animals are also solitary and nocturnal. When they are threatened they protect themselves by expelling their organs through their anus. It can also expel sticky filaments to ensnare or confuse predators.