SEATTLE -- Harbor seals and visitors to the Seattle Aquarium will get a much closer look at each other starting Saturday. The Aquarium has just completed its eight-month, $6.5 million harbor seal exhibit project.
Visitors will be able to enjoy outdoor seating that puts them nose to nose with the seals as they race around in their new exhibit.
The new feature has water that is about two feet deeper. It holds several thousand more gallons of water and is nearly a hundred feet larger in square footage. The seals will rest on rocks just a few feet from visitors who will see them through acrylic walls that are almost invisible.
Aquarium biologists say it gives them a great opportunity to teach visitors about the importance of seals to Puget Sound waters and how the species is at risk from human generated bacteria and toxins.
Some of those toxins were removed when the Aquarium replaced old, creosote soaked pilings with new metal and cement pilings during the remodel.