Weekly Events

There are several different events occurring throughout Sea Otter Awareness Week . Listed below are some of the different events taking place around the country. Please feel free to take advantage of these different activities and contact their host for more information. 

The California Academy of Sciences is home to the world’s largest collection of skulls, skeletons, and other preserved samples of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). From September 22 – 30, 2012, stop by the Project Lab to see select specimens on display. Throughout the week, sea otter-themed resources and games will be available in the Naturalist Center and the Early Explorers Cove. Participate in several Naturalist Center activities: Science Story Adventures on September 23 at 2:30 pm in the Education Classroom, Specimen Spotlight on September 27 at 11:30 am,  and Naturalist Center Crafts on September 28 between 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Finally, view sea otter skulls being prepared in the Project Lab and talk to biologists at a special sea otter table during the NightLife event on September 27 between 6:00-10:00 pm (for ages 21 and over).

Otter 501 is a feature-length film about a a stranded sea otter pup. Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week by showing the film or find a screening near you.

Below you can  find cities that will be showing Otter 501 during the week:


Avila Beach, CA

Atlanta, GA

Homer, AK

Big Sur, CA
Carmel, CA

Elkhorn, CA

Santa Barbara, CA

​Santa Cruz, CA

San Francisco, CA
Santa Clara, CA
Pacific Grove, CA
Newport, OR
Bainbridge Island, WA
Port Townsend, WA


Friends of the Sea Otter

​Sea Otter Awareness Weekends
Sept 22–23 & Sept 29–30

Come celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week and show your support for Jacob and Tazo, our resident sea otters! Join our docents and to learn about what makes these marine mammals unique, and how we are working to conserve them. This event is free with aquarium admission and takes place from 10:00 AM–4:00 p.m.

Activity Highlights include games such as  Sea Otter Simon Says, while Hands-on Activities will be available such as visitations to our biofact station for interactive exploration that will teach you more about these marine mammals. Gather around for Sea Otter Story Time, and watch our Sea Otter Feeding and Training Demos! Make sure to stop by Sea Cliffs to watch Jacob and Tazo work with their keepers and show off their athletic prowess for visitors. Check the schedule at the Aquarium's main entrance for feeding times.


Mark your calendars! Friends of the Sea Otter will be hosting its Annual Member's Meeting on Friday, September 28th at 7:00 PM PST. It is open to everyone that is interested! The meeting will be in room 434 in the Casa Fuente Building at the Monterey Institute of International Studies


SeaWorld San Diego is proud to participate in the celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week, Sept. 23–29, 2012. SeaWorld activities will include daily sea otter "Tube Time" presentations, which will take place at Otter Outlook. During "Tube Time," the otters play with frozen tubes stuffed with clams and shrimp. The otters hit the frozen "otter pops" against the wall of their habitat to dislodge the food, mimicking their natural behavior in the wild. SeaWorld animal care specialists will be on hand to answer questions from guests, and park education specialists will guide children through educational craft projects. O.P. Otter the costume character will stop by to join the festivities and pose for photos. SeaWorld currently cares for four sea otters that were taken in from the Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program at Monterey Bay Aquarium. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens support conservation projects all over the world, including sea otter preservation, through the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund.

In celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week this year, the Alaska SeaLife Center will be dedicating its Facebook page to daily  updates on sea otters! We will feature sea otters who have been through our stranding program and facts related to sea otters, their life history, and their status in Alaska

Alaska Museum of Natural History

The Alaska Museum of Natural History is offering self guided, hands on activities for Sea Otter Awareness Week.  The activities feature sea otter pelts to touch, bones to analyze, examples of what is included in a sea otter's diet, building an ocean food chain, and a craft project.   The Museum is open to the public on Mondays  through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children. Visit the Museum's website at www.alaskamuseum.org for directions.

To celebrate the 10th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week, Sept. 23-29, Shedd Aquarium offers thenext best thing to talking with a sea otter: a live Twitter chat with Shedd’s sea otter experts. Throughout the week, we’ll spotlight our sea otters with habitat chats at their two-level exhibit in the Abbott Oceanarium, blogs on our website and fun posts on our Facebook page. Tots will especially enjoy the otters at the underwater viewing area of the habitat in Polar Play Zone, a permanent exhibit just for kids. Sea otter-themed items, from plush toys tobooks, will be highlighted in Shedd’s gift stores.


Shedd is home to six sea otters: Our newest is a rescued pup from California while our five adults are native to Alaskan waters, including a survivor of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Kenai, a 23-year-old female, is one of only two remaining otters that were among a dozen orphaned oil-spillpups taken in by North American aquariums because they could not be released back into the wild. Visit Shedd’s online calendar for details about Shedd’s Sea Otter Awareness Week activities.​

Morro Bay National Estuary Program

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will observe Sea Otter Awareness Week Sunday, September 23 through Saturday, September 29, 2012. This week-long event is designed to educate the public about the integral role sea otters play in the marine ecosystem.

The week’s activities will include sea otter feeds and information about sea otters’ natural history and adaptations. Activities will culminate in a FREE viewing of the acclaimed documentary, OTTER 501, on the evening of Saturday, September 29. Seating for this film must be arranged in advance.

An Otter’s Life Isn’t Easy -- A Southern Sea Otter Exhibit at the Estuary Nature Center, Morro Bay National Estuary Program, Morro Bay, California

Explore life as a southern sea otter and learn about historic and current challenges for survival these entertaining mammals face. Make use of the Center’s binoculars at the observation area to look for otters, sea lions, sea birds and other wildlife in their native habitat just outside our windows. The Center, open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, also features interactive exhibits about theestuary and watershed. Admission is free. The Estuary Nature Center is located on the Embarcadero (upstairs at the Marina Square) in MorroBay.
For more information, call 805-772-3834.

Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Come visit the Aquarium's kelp room in our exhibit hall to learn more about sea otters and kelp forests in Southern California. Our Exploration Center will have Sea Otter themed hands-on activities in our mini-classroom and specimens like a Sea Otter skeleton. Staff will be available to help guide your inquiryabout these endangered animals.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is proud to have two sea otter exhibits: a sea otter nursery that is occupied by our orphaned sea otter pup who was rescued in Alaska earlier this year; and a large, open air exhibit designed to house adult sea otters that features two stories of water with viewing opportunities at water level and underwater.

In celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week, a sea otter bio-fact table will be displayed on Tuesday, September 25 outside of the sea otter nursery in the Water’s Edge building. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium personnel will be available to answer questions and provide information about our resident sea otters. Visitors will enjoy watching our sea otter pup being fed at noon, and can watch him splash in his pool and play with his toys throughout the day. Learn more about North American Sea Otters and all the other animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium at www.pittsburghzoo.org.

Oregon Zoo is hosting daily keeper talks paired with enrichment and/or training sessions for the public. For more information, visit http://www.oregonzoo.org/.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is proud to once again participate in the upcoming Sea Otter Awareness Week, promoting sea otter awareness and conservation. Sea Otter training staff will work with the Aquarium’s Education staff to highlight the importance of sea otter conservation and educate our visitors on the life-history of sea otters, how their presence affects the ocean’s ecosystem,  and how we can ensure that our future generations will also be able to enjoy this amazing species. During this 10th anniversary of Sea Otter Awareness Week, the training staff will be giving 2 daily interactive Sea Otter Chats with Buck and Emma while on exhibit, displaying various behaviors and showcasing the different types of enrichment that they enjoy on a daily basis. Throughout the week, visitors will have an opportunity to interact with our Sea Otter training staff and will have access to hands-on education stations

The Aquarium of the Pacific will be highlighting Sea Otter Awareness Week in daily presentations at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s sea otter exhibit at the following times: Weekdays at 10:45 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. Weekends at 10:45 a.m., 2:15 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.


Inside the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Northern Pacific Gallery, visitors can:

• view rescued sea otters in an exhibit modeled after their central California habitat,
• play a game to learn about sea otter conservation,
• and watch daily presentations to learn more about sea otters.

Join Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in celebrating one of their favorite marine mammals during Sea Otter Awareness Day.  The event takes place Sunday, September 23, with special enrichments (including fresh oysters for the sea otters) at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  The sea otters will also receive frozen treat sea otter pops and giant ice treat toys to play with!  During the event you can meet Homer, one of their female sea otters who is one of two remaining Exxon Valdez survivors in U.S. zoos! They will also have interpreters around the exhibit to interact and talk with visitors and have a sea otter craft and display up in their Marine Discovery Center for visitors throughout the month of September.

Join the Vancouver Aquarium from September 23-September 29, 2012 and celebrate the 10th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week. Visit the Aquarium's loveable pair of sea otters, Tanu and Elfin, to learn more about these endearing creatures and the vital role they play within their environment. Staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to help you uncover many fascinating stories about sea otters and even show you some of an otters favourite foods through daily feeds, enrichment sessions and interpretive talks.

Sea Otter Awareness Weekends, September 22 & 23, and September 29 & 30
Join biologists at the Seattle Aquarium and explore the lives of sea otters. See how the Seattle Aquarium biologists care for these enchanting animals, including providing great nutrition, training and even toys!


“Sea Otter Awareness Week” September 23rd – September 29th – CuriOdyssey will again have information available for visitors to learn about the sea otter and its fragile status.  This along with the daily Animals In Action program, River Otter feeding, and Bobcat feeding make for an enjoyable and educational visit to CuriOdyssey.

Oceanário de Lisboa is planning the following activities for Sea Otter Awareness Week:

Océanopolis will be having information on their website during Sea Otter Awareness Week and will have a panel near where the new sea otter exhibit will be (opens in April 2013) talking about Sea Otter Awareness Week. During the week Océanopolis will also play the movie, "Sea Otters – A Million Dollar Baby", a BBC Natural World production with a slide show before the movie talking about Sea Otter Awareness Week.

Join California Department of Fish and Game Sea Otter Biologist Colleen Young for a chance to learn about tracking and observing sea otters. You'll have a chance to learn how to use telemetry equipment to track tagged otters, observe otters through a high-powered spotting scope, and ask any general questions you have about sea otter biology, behavior, etc.  Colleen will be at the picnic tables at "The Hook" in Capitola (at the corner of E Cliff Dr and 41st Ave) from 11am to 1pm on Tuesday, September 25th and from 4:30pm to 6:30pm on Thursday, September 27th. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Hope to see you there!

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation is kicking off Sea Otter Awareness Week by teaming up with Sea Studios to bring you face to face with the otters of Elkhorn Slough. On September 23, join us for a kayak tour from Kirby Park to Moss Landing, co-led by Otter 501 star Katie Pofahl and Elkhorn Slough specialist Ron Eby. After touring the slough by water with our expert guides we’ll sit down to lunch at the Reserve for a sea otter Q&A with Katie and Ron. After lunch we’ll enjoy a special screening of the film Otter 501, which was filmed right in our own Elkhorn Slough. Members of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation can enjoy the event (includes kayak rental, lunch, and movie) for $60. We will also be showing Otter 501 at 5PM and again at 7:30PM at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. These screenings will be open to the public and will include a special presentation on Behaviors of Elkhorn Slough Otters by Ron Eby. A $5 donation is requested. To register for these events, please visit the Elkhorn Slough Foundation calendar

The Marine Mammal Center will highlight sea otters in their Discovery Classroom for the public during Sea Otter Awareness Week, utilizing some displays and specimens related to sea otters, and plan to  incorporate handouts and/or activity sheets that visitors can take with them.

Award-winning children’s book author, Lisa Rivard will kick- off Sea Otter Awareness Week in Traverse City, Michigan on Sept 19, 2012 with a book signing at Horizons Book Store. Bring the kids in to meet the author and do a craft; kids who attend this event will get to stuff a sea otter with the author! You can find more details about this event at: http://community.mynorth.com/events/horizon-books-hosts-author-lisa-rivard-in-traverse-city

The Minnesota Zoo is home to three rehabilitated Northern Sea Otters.  Sea otters have the thickest fur of any animal. They have 10 times as many hairs in one square inch as you have on your entire head! Their fur helps them stay warm in chilly water.  Come visit our sea otters in Russia’s Grizzly Coast, and learn more about the important role they play in the marine ecosystem during Sea Otter Awareness Week.


Come join in the fun for Sea Otter Awareness Week 2012 at Georgia Aquarium! We are so proud to participate in this conservation initiative that we even asked our Governor to proclaim it an annual event in Georgia.

This year, we will be celebrating from Sunday, 9/23 through Saturday, 9/29 with exciting activities throughout the facility. Planned activities include the Atlanta premiere of Otter 501, “Otter-ly Fun Facts” with Aquarium Volunteers and Staff, Q&A opportunities following each sea otter session, hands-on activities, storytelling sessions and more! Sea Otter Awareness Week directly supports Georgia Aquarium’s 4R program that funds Georgia Aquarium efforts in the areas of rescue, rehabilitation, research and responsibility.

Please be sure to check our website for activity dates and times in addition to information about Georgia Aquarium’s sea otters as well as a variety of sea otter resources. All Sea Otter Awareness Week activities are free with Aquarium admission.

Janet Halfmann is an award-winning children’s author who strives to make her books come alive for young readers and listeners. She has written thirty-five fiction and nonfiction children’s books.
Besides “Good Night, Little Sea Otter,” other recent books are: “Home in the Cave;” Eggs 1, 2, 3: Who Will the Babies Be?”; “Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish,” “Fur and Feathers;” “Little Skink’s Tail;” and “Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story.”

Star Bright Books will be providing a 10% discount off the retail price of Good Night, Little Sea Otter in recognition of Sea Otter Awareness Week! You can order online direct from the Publisher at orders@starbrightbooks.com.

Read Janet's interview with Friends of the Sea Otter here!

Giveaway! Janet is giving away 2 SIGNED softcover copies of Good Night, Little Sea Otter. Details here: http://www.janethalfmann.com/news-a-events