The Oregon Coast is getting a new tourist attraction. The University of Oregon is holding a ribbon cutting and grand opening Saturday in Charleston at the mouth of Coos Bay for its new Marine Life Center.
The center is part museum, part aquarium and part learning lab and gallery. It was a long time in coming. The director of the University of Oregon's marine lab cobbled together grants, donations and leftovers from other projects to create the facility from relatively little money over about nine years. It is located on the marine lab campus overlooking the marina in Charleston.
The attraction features five galleries of exhibits and fish tanks with highlights including complete whale and sea lion skeletons, touch tanks and a working undersea robot vehicle. The focus is on the marine life and fisheries of Oregon.
The Charleston Marine Life Center gives the southern Oregon Coast a marine science attraction in the same category as the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and Seaside Aquarium much farther to the north.
Charleston Marine Life Center
63466 Boat Basin Road, Charleston, Oregon
Hours: Weds.-Saturday, 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, children and students free