Sea Otter Awareness Week

September 20-26, 2020

Sea Otter Awareness Week falls on the last week in September and is an annual recognition of the vital role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem.  Each year, zoos, aquariums, natural history museums, marine institutions, filmmakers, researchers, academics, educators, and the public participate in various events and activities highlighting sea otters and their natural history and the various conservation issues sea otters are faced with.


2020 Events Coming Soon. We are keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation and state and local guidelines as we plan for the 2020 events.

The Good, the Bad, and the Cute: Stories of the Southern Sea Otter

Date: August 15th, 2019 from 5:30 - 7PM

Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA 95076

Sea Otters captivate tourists and locals alike, and nowhere are they easier to find than in Elkhorn Slough. Join our panelists to hear stories of challenge and success from the otter research world, and discover where conservation efforts are headed. This free community lecture will feature a unique sea otter story from three local experts, followed by an opportunity to share your questions with the experts. The formal presentation begins at 6pm, but guests are invited to join us early at 5:30pm for an short stroll with the speakers. No RSVP is required, first-come seating. 

Panelists include:
Michelle Staedler (Sea Otter Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium)
Melissa Miller (California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Office of Spill Prevention and Response)
Ron Eby (Research Otter Monitoring Program, Elkhorn Slough Reserve)

For more information, check out:


Marine Science Sunday: Sea Otter Spectacular

Date: September 15, 2019 from 10AM – 4PM

Location: The Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965

Join us in kicking off the beginning of Sea Otter Awareness Week at The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal hospital and education facility! Did you know that the sea otter is the furriest animal in the entire world?  The smallest marine mammal is also one of the most special with adaptations to stay warm, find food, and even use tools!  This month we celebrate the threatened species with our Sea Otter Spectacular in a fun, educational way for both kids and adults. We recommend teaming our free Marine Science Sunday classroom programs about sea otters at 12 pm and 2 pm with a Guided Tour at 11am, 1pm or 3pm for a truly immersive marine mammal experience.

For more information, check out: Marine Science Sunday: Sea Otter Spectacular.


Sea Otter Outreach Stations

Date: September 22-28, 2019

Location: Check out the map to find a location near you!

Meet volunteers to experience wild sea otters from some of the best viewing locations in California and learn what you can do to help protect them! 

For more information, check out:


Sea Otter Awareness Week at the Vancouver Aquarium

Date: September 21-29, 10AM - 5PM daily

Location: Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park (845 Avison Way)

Cost: Adult: $38 | Senior / Student: $30 | Child (4 – 12): $21 | Child (0 – 4): $

Taz sea otter pup
Vancouver Aquarium

Welcome Taz! This Sea Otter Awareness Week meet our newest arrival, rescued sea otter pup Tazlina. Taz was rescued earlier this year in Alaska and will be joining the Vancouver Aquarium family. She will be living alongside the Vancouver Aquarium’s six resident rescued sea otters – Tanu, Katmai, Mak, Kunik, Rialto, and Hardy.

From September 21 – 29, celebrate these amazing creatures with special otter themed shows and programs including:

  • Daily sea otter feeds and enrichment sessions at the sea otter habitat throughout the day.
  • Sea otter family programs— fun for the young and the young-at-heart — at 10:45 a.m. daily.
  • Learn about the role sea otters play in coastal ecosystems at the Life in the Kelp Forest program at 12:30 p.m. daily at the Strait of Georgia exhibit.
  • Meet Vancouver Aquarium mascot Ollie the Sea Otter every morning during Sea Otter Awareness Week.
  • Get up close with the rescued sea otters during a sea otter encounter (Animal encounters are limited and must be booked in advance)
  • During your visit, why not visit the giftshop and ‘aquadopt’ one of the sea otters by purchasing an Aquadopt Kit? All proceeds go to looking after our sea otters and our conservation mission.

For more information, check out: or call the Aquarium at 604-658-3400


Sea Otter Awareness Week at SeaWorld San Diego

Date: September 22-28, daily

Location: SeaWorld San Diego

Cinder the sea otter pup
SeaWorld San Diego

Guests can stop by Otter Outlook at SeaWorld San Diego to check out special Sea Otter Awareness Week activities.  During specified times throughout the day, keepers provide enrichment to four adult southern sea otters, while sharing with guests information about their adaptations and about ways they can help otters in the wild. During the presentation, the otters forage for food -- including shrimp, mussels and clams-- mimicking their natural behavior in the wild. In addition to otter presentations in the main pool, guests can also peek through the window of the otter nursery in the back to get glimpses of SeaWorld’s newest addition: Cinder, a seven-week-old pup that came to SeaWorld on Sept. 7.  Cinder was initially found orphaned near Homer, Alaska back in mid-August. 

For more information, check out:

Sea Otter Awareness Week Poster Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Sea Otter Awareness Week at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Date: September 24-29, 2019 from 10AM - 5PM 

Location: Seymour Marine Discovery Center, 100 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Discover the vital role sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem during Sea Otter Awareness Week. Special pop-up exhibits will highlight sea otters’ natural history, reveal conservation issues facing these marine mammals, and so much more. Sea Otter Awareness Week is September 24-29, 2019. Many thanks to our event sponsor: Elizabeth Quinn, MS DC 

For more information, check out:

Sea Otter Savvy Talks 2019

Sea Otter Savvy Talks

Date: September 27th, 6:30PM - 8PM

Location: Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History

Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week at this FREE event with two special talks highlighting the sea otters of Morro Bay and the people who watch over them!

Title: Exploring Otter Space and Beyond as a Sea Otter Savvy SeaLife Steward Volunteer

Speaker: Sharon Blakely, volunteer with Sea Otter Savvy and SeaLife Stewards

The Energetic Cost of Human Disturbance to Sea Otters (with an Eye on the Strange Case of Morro Bay)

Speaker: Heather Barrett, graduate Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, Sea Otter Savvy

What is the cost of your selfie? How you recreate near wildlife can impact a species' energetic output. Depending on your distance, you may cause unintentional disturbance that has consequential physiological costs for certain wildlife. For sea otters, this is a concern due to their life history and high energy demands. Come learn the cost of human disturbance to sea otters and get a sneak peek of how sea otters are responding in Morro Bay. 


Sea Otter Savvy Talk 2019

Sea Otter Savvy Talks

Date: September 27th, 7PM - 8:30PM

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Giving it your all: Lessons learned from sea otter moms

Speaker: Dr. Nicole Thometz, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of San Francisco

Superimposed on inherently high baseline energy demands, the additional energetic cost of reproduction can push female sea otters to their physiological limits. Recent research has identified reproduction as a major contributing factor to over half of adult female mortality cases in California. Given the importance of successful pup rearing to species recovery and population persistence, we examine the reproductive physiology of sea otters in order to better understand individual patterns, overall energetic costs, and resulting population level consequences. By combining metabolic data obtained from captive sea otters with behavioral data from wild mom-pup pairs we have gained new insight into the impressive journey sea otter moms must undertake to successfully raise pups to weaning.


Sea Otter Awareness Weekend at the Seattle Aquarium

Date: September 28 - 29

Location: Seattle Aquarium

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!

11:30AM - Meet Our Sea Otter Expert
1:30PM - Sea Otter Research: What's for Lunch?
2PM - Meet Our Sea Otters
3PM - Sea Otter Enrichment
5PM - Meet Our Sea Otters


Elkhorn Slough Reserve Open House

Date: September 28th, 10AM - 4PM

Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA 95076

Explore behind the scenes on a campus tour, chat with our scientists, paint a wooden wetland critter, and magnify the wildlife in a teaspoon of slough water at our microscope lab. The Elkhorn Slough Reserve's annual Open House showcases the wildlife and conservation work happening in the Elkhorn Slough Watershed. In honor of Sea Otter Awareness Week, the Reserve's Open House will host additional, Sea-Otter themed activities. Get hands-on with otter artifacts, learn about research from our otter monitoring team, and grab a pair of binoculars to go spot some live ones out in the field! Free fun for everyone — plus tacos, burritos and beverages on sale all day!

For more information, check out:


Sea Otter Awareness Day

Date: September 28th, 10AM - 4PM

Location: Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Aquarium is holding a special recognition event to raise awareness of the vital role sea otters play in nearshore ecosystems. Learn firsthand how the Aquarium staff train, feed and care for Nuka, Schuster and Oswald during live presentations, and test your luck in a raffle afterwards.

For more information, check out: