Alaska SeaLife Center will not be closing permanently

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 4:19 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After reaching a fundraising milestone, the Alaska SeaLife announced it will not be permanently closing its doors this season.

The center’s President and CEO, Tara Riemer, announced Wednesday that it reached its goal of $2 million dollars raised.

“So meeting a $2 million goal just means we’re not permanently closing at the end of this season,” Riemer said. “Which is exciting for a lot of people, but it’s really not quite enough. It’s not enough to keep our mission project going like we want them to.”

The non-profit saw a drastic reduction in visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted the center’s bottom line.

Various community members came together to raise donations to help the SeaLife Center reach its goal.

The center raised $1.3 million dollars before the $500,000 worth of seed money kicked in from the City of Seward. After the latest match challenge with cruise ship partners, the non-profit reached its goal.

“It’s even more of a special thing because, with COVID, there’s a lot of people struggling and suffering,” said Juliana Kim, a mammologist with the center. “And still, they’re finding a way to come and try and help us and keep our doors open here in Seward.”

Riemer said there will be other fundraisers and match challenges down the line to help the Alaska SeaLife Center continue its various programs and research projects.

The center is currently open to visitors on a limited basis. For more information on visitation and to donate, visit their website.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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