Subject: Alaska SeaLife Center Grand Op (fwd)

Mike Williamson (pita@www1.wheelock.edu)
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 13:24:29 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 98 16:16:00 GMT 
From: r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@sun.simmons.edu
Subject: Alaska SeaLife Center Grand Op

Alaska SeaLife Center Grand Opening Set for May 2, 1998

                    Media Invited to Pre-Opening on May 1

    SEWARD, Alaska, April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The official countdown has begun
toward the long anticipated opening of the new Alaska SeaLife Center in
Seward, Alaska.
    The new $56 million marine wildlife facility, set to open on May 2, has
been under construction on the shore of Resurrection Bay for more than three
years.  The Center's construction was financed through restitution funds paid
to Alaska by Exxon as a result of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.  The remaining
funds were raised from private sources and through the sale of revenue bonds
by the City of Seward.
    In addition to becoming the state's newest visitor attraction, the Alaska
SeaLife Center will be the only cold-water marine wildlife research facility
in the Western Hemisphere and the only facility that combines research,
rehabilitation and education as equal components of a single mission.
    To accommodate the needs of the media, May 1 has been set aside for a
media preview of the Center at its location in Seward, 125 miles south of
Anchorage, including:

    * Transportation on May 1 from Anchorage to Seward;
    * A press briefing at 12:00 noon (ADT) with officials from the Center;
    * An in-depth tour of the new facility;
    * The opportunity to obtain one-on-one interviews and b-roll or
      photographs of the facility and its inhabitants; and,
    * A gray whale watching cruise on Resurrection Bay.

    In addition, a press center has been set up in the SeaLife Center and
local hotel rooms for journalists have been set aside.
    The ceremonial opening on Saturday, May 2, 1998 will draw more than
5,000 people to Seward for the day's festivities.  The events will begin with
an official ribbon cutting at 12:30 p.m. (ADT), including Alaska's Governor
and other dignitaries, and end with an evening street dance.  On Sunday, May
3, the Center will celebrate its first official day of business when it opens
the doors at 9 a.m. to the public.
    The 115,000 square-foot building is surrounded by mountains and nearby
Kenai Fjords National Park.  Once inside, visitors will find themselves
surrounded by simulated ocean environments and immersed in the marine habitats
of the Northern Gulf Coast region.  From rock ledges to the ocean floors,
visitors will be able to observe Steller sea lions, harbor seals and puffins
as they live and play in their recreated habitats.
    Through progressive exhibits and daily hands-on learning programs,
visitors will be encouraged to assume the responsibility for their own
stewardship of the ocean environment.
    Media interested in making travel plans to Alaska for the media briefing
or to cover the grand opening should contact Kathy Day or Roberta Graham at
888-480-2752.
    For more information about the Alaska SeaLife Center visit, its web site
at www.alaskasealife.org.