The Oregon Coast Aquarium has received the largest grant in its history in the amount of $5 million, courtesy of the Roundhouse Foundation.
The Roundhouse Foundation is located in Sisters and supports solutions to the challenges associated with rural culture and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Their primary areas of focus include arts and culture, environmental stewardship and social services and education. The Roundhouse Foundation values opportunities that work at the intersections of these areas.
“Organizations like the Oregon Coast Aquarium that are centered in rural communities throughout Oregon are important drivers of our rural economies,” Erin Borla, Roundhouse Foundation executive director, said. “They share local stories, highlight their unique history, ecology and watersheds, and most importantly provide economic resilience and strength in smaller communities.”
The $5 million, which will be disbursed over a five-year period, will support the aquarium’s capital campaign for remodel, renovation and development. One million dollars will go toward phase 1 of the campaign, which includes the development of a new headwaters feature. The remaining $4 million will be used to develop a new marine rehabilitation center.
“We are pleased to partner with the Oregon Coast Aquarium to build the marine rehabilitation center to help raise awareness of the need to defend and protect our oceans and marine wildlife,” said Kathy Deggendorfer, co-founder of the Roundhouse Foundation.
The aquarium is one of three facilities in the Pacific Northwest, and the only one in the state of Oregon, authorized to provide critical care to endangered marine wildlife like sea turtles, northern fur seals and snowy plovers.
Carrie Lewis, aquarium president and CEO, said, “This gift will not only enable us to realize our dreams, it will have a tremendous impact on our treasured marine life and will leave a lasting legacy for Oregon.”
The Roundhouse Foundation’s commitment provides the aquarium with 70 percent of the funds needed to build the marine rehabilitation center. The aquarium invites its supporters to help raise the remaining funds by donating via givetoaquarium.org.