HARD AGROUND - Wreck of the Exxon Valdez - March 24, 1989



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Anchorage Daily News
Date: 05/20/95
Day: Saturday
Edition: Final
Section: Metro
Page: D1

ANCHORAGE- The groundbreaking ceremony for the $47.5 million Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Construction of the facility is being funded mostly with settlement money from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Former Gov. Wally Hickel, Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer and SeaLife Center officials are scheduled to make presentations.

The 74,287-square-foot center is being built on seven acres of waterfront property in downtown Seward. It is expected to open in 1998. The Alaska Legislature voted in 1994 to spend $12.5 million of the $50 million Exxon criminal settlement on the project. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, which is overseeing the $900 million civil settlement, voted last year to contribute $24.9 million to the project.

A nonprofit corporation, the Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science, plans to raise another $10 million to fund the visitor and education portion of the building.

The center will be used to conduct research and monitor the effects of the 1989 spill. Specifically, the center will investigate the decline of Steller sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals and marine birds. Scientists also will look at genetic damage in herring and pink salmon.

The center also will be used to treat sick or injured marine animals. Animals that are not able to survive in the wild following treatment might become part of the center's educational and research programs.

Story Index:
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