“Learning from Orcas: The Story of Hope” Opens September 29

Chloe and Eliza Dawson use clues to find out what killed the orca named Hope
Chloe and Eliza Dawson use clues to find out what killed the orca named Hope

Chloe and Eliza Dawson use clues to find out what killed the orca named Hope

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is thrilled to announce the opening of a new exhibit, “Learning from Orcas—The Story of Hope,” which will be the centerpiece in the Natural History Exhibit in Fort Worden State Park. The exhibit opens Saturday, September 29, 2012 at noon. Admission is free to the public on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend, and open from noon to 4 p.m

The new exhibit tells a story that started in 2002 when a transient orca called CA 189—later named Hope by PTMSC students—beached herself and died in the Dungeness Spit area. Her story continues to the present day through the work of scientists, community members and PTMSC staff and volunteers. Hope’s skeleton has been articulated and will be hanging in the Natural History Exhibit.

“The exhibit title exemplifies the process we’ve been through –a voyage, with Hope at the helm,” said Anne Murphy, Executive Director for the PTMSC. “We’ve learned so much about the health of food webs, toxics in the ocean and most importantly about our ability to make a difference. This exhibit invites you to help turn the tide on the declining health of our marine environment.”

Glen Dawson crawls out of the Storm Drain Exhibit under the gaze of the orca skeleton

Glen Dawson crawls out of the Storm Drain Exhibit under the gaze of the orca skeleton

Through video, a computer kiosk, a storm drain that visitors can crawl through, a bone table and other hands-on activities, visitors can learn about and feel the connections between people and orcas.

For the first time, scanned digital images of the bones and skeleton of an orca can be examined on the web at http://www.ptmsc.org/boneatlas/ A collaboration between the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, NOAA and the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory at the Idaho Museum of Natural History resulted in the development of this free online research and education tool.

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012, inspiring conservation of the Salish Sea. Located on the beach at Fort Worden State Park, the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit features large touch pools and aquaria and the Natural History Exhibit highlights the rich zone where land meets sea. Both exhibits are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth and free to PTMSC members. The PTMSC also offers a wide variety of educational programs and special events. For more information, call 360.385.5582, e-mail info@ptmsc.org or visit www.ptmsc.org.

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