Marine Science Center Raises $123,634 at Virtual Auction

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) is grateful to the many supporters who attended its first-ever online auction, “You, Me & The Salish Sea.” The March event, held in conjunction with the annual PTMSC fundraiser to promote scientific and educational programs for conservation of the Salish Sea, raised $123,634.

“To say that the last year has been filled with uncertainty and adversity would be quite an understatement,” said PTMSC Executive Director Janine Boire. “But our supporters rose to the occasion, contributing well above and beyond our expectations.”  

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support youth and adult educational programs, community science projects, the PTMSC aquarium, and the museum.

“Under Janine Boire’s strong leadership, our staff and AmeriCorps worked together to embrace creative new ways to address our mission,” said Diane Baxter, president of the PTMSC Board of Directors. “I also would like to thank the board members, whose dedication amidst myriad challenges helped keep the center going.”

This year’s auction included naming rights for one of the aquarium’s newest residents, a giant Pacific octopus that arrived last June, when it was barely beyond the zooplankton stage. The name for the octopus, Sylvia, was selected by winning bidders Shannon Orr and Melanie McAllester in honor of environmentalist Sylvia Earle, the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. “In choosing the name, we hope a few young girls might be inspired to follow in Sylvia’s footsteps,” said Orr.

Marine Science Center Now Open

The PTMSC aquarium and museum have reopened in a limited capacity on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are required and can be made at Group sizes are limited.

Founded in 1982, the PTMSC is a nonprofit educational organization for all ages that provides hands-on learning experiences, exhibits, citizen science programs, and lecture series. Located at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, the PTMSC offers two public facilities: the aquarium (on the pier) and the museum (on shore). For more information, visit