National & International

Oregon Coast Aquarium announces plans for $18M renovation

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has announced a fundraising campaign for an $18 million expansion effort.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that the aquarium plans to remodel existing facilities and add a marine rehabilitation center and an outdoor play area.

Aquarium officials say the project would be the first major remodeling since the facility in Newport opened to the public in 1992.

The attraction 133 miles (214 kilometers) southwest of Portland draws more than 420,000 visitors annually and has hosted 15 million people overall.

Aquarium CEO Carrie Lewis says the original facility was not designed to accommodate current visitor numbers.

The renovation plan includes a rehabilitation facility for endangered marine animals such as sea turtles, seals and snowy plovers.

Officials say those animals are now cared for in a repurposed warehouse.

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