The Oregon Coast Aquarium is an aquarium in Newport in the U.S. state of Oregon. Opened in 1992, the facility sits on 23 acres (9.3 ha) along Yaquina Bay near the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium was home to Keiko, the orca who starred in the movie Free Willy, from January 7, 1996 until September 9, 1998, when he was shipped to Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. USA Today considers the Oregon Coast Aquarium world-class and Coastal Living magazine ranks it among the top ten aquariums in North America. Newport business leaders proposed building an aquarium beginning in the early 1980s. They proposed a $7 million facility in 1982 as a way to boost the local economy. Two years later they incorporated as a non-profit, and increased fundraising efforts in 1987, collecting $11 million by 1991. Plans to turn 23 acres (9.3 ha) along Yaquina Bay in Newport into a "world class" aquarium were finalized in 1990. The Aquarium was designed by SRG Architects, Portland: BIOS:Inc, of Seattle, and Walker/Macy Landscape Architects, Portland, Oregon. More information...

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