Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Feiro Marine Life Center have partnered to integrate our visitor experiences as part of a new marine discovery center on the Port Angeles waterfront – a center to showcase science and research, facilitate learning experiences, and galvanize the community to participate in marine stewardship.

Current Status of the Project

We have released an RFP for conceptual design. Replies are due December 7, 2018.

We have completed capital campaign feasibility interviews.

Detailed partnership agreements with the multiple collaborators on the Marine Discovery Center and the entire Arts, Science & Culture campus project are under review.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Feiro have signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Port Angeles Waterfront Center to lease up to 20,000 sq ft. of their property located at Oak and Front Sts in Port Angeles. In effect, we would be part of an Arts, Science & Culture campus development in downtown Port Angeles.

Port Angeles Waterfront Center – new performing arts and conference center

Project Timeline

During the planning phase, we are developing our timeline to account for fundraising, architectural planning, and construction.

Key Documents:


The ocean is the defining feature of our planet. The ocean affects every human life. Art Feiro knew that when he galvanized community support to build the Feiro Marine Life Center in 1981. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration knew that when they designated Olympic Coast as the nation’s 12th marine sanctuary in 1994 under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

On the North Olympic Peninsula, the sanctuary and Feiro have worked as partners in education, stewardship, and science for over 20 years. Feiro’s restructure from a city and college run facility to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2008 allowed new partnership opportunities, such as summer camps and K-12 field studies, to flourish. Despite this close connection, the partners have always operated from separate visitor services facilities. Through separate but parallel strategic planning efforts by the Sanctuary and Feiro, we recognized that we would be more successful working together in a shared museum/visitor center capacity. Both entities saw the need to improve and expand upon their educational missions, but the current facilities do not allow for expansion. Combined, we have approximately 4,000 square feet of learning spaces, with approximately 32,000 annual visitors. By expanding and innovating our learning spaces together, we aim to double the number of people we can reach on site. A more robust operating model would facilitate the development of the next generation of education, stewardship, and science programs.

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a regional chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System and a voice in Washington, DC for marine and conservation issues. Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (Chapter) was established in 2017 to increase awareness and protection of, and support for, the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Raising funds for programs that advance the mission of the sanctuary, developing a constituency to champion the sanctuary and educating the public about the value of the sanctuary supports the sanctuary’s mission to protect the Olympic Coast’s natural and cultural resources. The Chapter is partnering with Feiro and the sanctuary to build the new shared Marine Discovery Center.