A message from Carrie:
In 2012 I decided to open a museum called the Whale, Sealife and Shark Museum. I have been a collector of marine specimens ever since I was four years old.
I want to share my love of the ocean with as many people as I can so I figured that this would be a perfect way and place to share them. On the outside of the museum, I drew whale cut outs, then my Dad cut them out and my youngest daughter, Ariel, painted them. Each of the ten whales on the outside of the building are summer residents that return year after year. They are painted to show their most distinctive characteristics. The inside mural done by Justin Sparks shows artwork of actual pictures I took along with an adoption wall.
Around the first corner you will see a shark exhibit with actual taxidermied sharks that a professor had in his collection from the 1950’s. Each shark, jaw or picture gives you valuable information on that individual.
Next you encounter the tropical exhibit with a number of organisms, insects, frogs and more embedded in the exhibit for an “I SPY” adventure. Anyone living in Oregon during winter can come and sit down in a lawn chair in front of this exhibit and pretend you are in the tropics! The next exhibit shows the 4 zones of the rocky intertidal with its characteristic organisms. I made posters that correspond to the actual specimens that you can see.
Next you encounter 6 cubbies with the various phyla of animal groups in them. In each cubby I made an informative poster and labels. Every cubby shows fossil forms and modern day forms and you can visibly see there has been NO Change over time.
Upstairs you have a theater to watch educational films I made. The next room is the pinniped room which includes life size artwork of seals, sea lions, walruses, river otters and sea otters. It also has an exhibit of manatees even though we do not have them here. I am working in the winter with a company in Florida where you can swim with manatees.
Next you walk into the bird room with taxidermied local birds, bird sculptures and lots of information.
The last room is the whale room which shows life-size whale tail flukes and a diorama of the gray whales with information and specimens from Alaska, Depoe Bay and Baja California. The mural on the wall in the whale room shows the migration route of the gray whale from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico and back. There is also the stopping point in Depoe Bay where we have our summer residents stay from June-October.
Almost all the photographs are ones I personally took and the various black posters are ones I developed with the help of an awesome photo editor named Charles Hall. I have also written six books ranging from a Marine Biology textbook to field guides on Gray Whales, Seals, Sea Lions and Otters, Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, Seabirds and Shorebirds and more.
~ Carrie Newell, CEO WREE,WSSM