Oregon Coast Aquarium receives $500,000 challenge grant


The Oregon Coast Aquarium has been awarded a $500,000 challenge grant from the Marcia H. Randall Foundation for phase one of the organization’s capital campaign.

The aquarium will use the grant to construct an admissions annex; remodel and expand the entry, great hall, and café; and connect with the new children’s nature play area.

The Oregon-based Marcia H. Randall Foundation will match all gifts and pledges made to the construction costs of the aquarium’s master plan capital campaign from now through March 31, at a 1:1 ratio up to $500,000, doubling the impact of each dollar donated.

“Our goal to complete phase one is $5.3 million, and we’ve raised $2.3 million from foundations, businesses and individuals throughout Oregon and beyond,” said Carrie Lewis, aquarium president and CEO. “The Marcia H. Randall Board of Directors sees the aquarium as a treasure to our state and believes investing in our future is an investment in environmental education.”

The foundation hopes their grant will encourage others to invest in the capital campaign to ensure the Oregon Coast Aquarium will continue to thrive as a trusted resource for ocean education and conservation in the Pacific Northwest. They recognize the aquarium contributes an estimated economic value of $100 million per year to the central coast, and boosts employment for the area. Giving this philanthropic boost will enable the aquarium to make improvements at a time when construction impacts visitation the least.

“Many are not aware of the education and research the aquarium conducts each year,” said Marcia H. Randall, founder and board chair of the foundation. “Their mission is so much more than welcoming visitors. In fact, their 2019 school outreach program alone reached over 30,000 students in 120 schools and four states. Many of these students would not have the opportunity to visit the aquarium to learn about the importance of the ocean and its natural habitat. By supporting the aquarium’s capital campaign efforts, we are ensuring the future of the aquarium is bright and their educational programming will expand.”

Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made on the aquarium’s capital campaign website — www.givetoaquarium.org. For more information about the campaign, email [email protected]

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