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The Oregon Coast Aquarium turns 30!

Oregon Coast Aquarium
Sally Compton
/
Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium in 2020, in Newport, OR.

On Monday, the Oregon Coast Aquarium turns 30!

The Aquarium was originally founded in 1992 as a way to stimulate the economy in the Yaquina Bay area, while also serving year-round residents. Within nine months of opening, it’d hosted its first million visitors.

In 1996, the Aquarium gained international recognition for the role it played in rehabilitating Keiko, the world-renowned orca from the movie “Free Willy.” After Keiko’s departure two years later, the facility transformed his habitat into "Passages of the Deep," an acrylic tunnel snaking through three different ocean habitats.

The Aquarium has received accreditation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums,’ denoting the highest standard of animal care and welfare.

Born and raised in Eugene, Anni started at KLCC in 2000 as a reporter and co-host of Northwest Passage. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Anni moved to New York City. She worked in education for several years before returning to her true love, journalism. Anni co-founded and co-hosted Dailysonic, a narrative-based news podcast. She interned at WNYC's On The Media, then becoming WNYC's assistant producer of Morning Edition.