The Seacoast Science Center is a non-profit marine science education organization located within Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire.
To spark curiosity, enhance understanding, and inspire conservation of our Blue Planet.
We envision a healthy World Ocean.
Located within Odiorne Point State Park, we provide educational experiences on behalf of New Hampshire State Parks and have been connecting people to the wonders of our coast since 1992. Our live animal exhibits feature the amazing creatures that live in the rapidly changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Our engaging programs make learning about the ocean fun for everyone, from pre-K to senior rediscovery. Our hands-on science exhibits motivate families to become caretakers of our Blue Planet.
We operate the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue program, responding to marine mammals along the coast of New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts (Essex, MA north). Our rescue work creates coastal communities that are safe for both people and seals. Each seal-side conversation is an opportunity to educate people about the animals and their coastal ocean habitat. One of just 100 federally authorized response organizations, our rescue work contributes critical data for research on the status of these protected species, considered the early warning system for ocean health.
We hold highly valued community events throughout the year from Music by the Sea concerts to Sippin’ for Seals. Each reaches a different audience, yet all combine to reinforce our belief that a healthy ocean drives our quality of life today and will drive quality of life for future generations.
How You Can Help
Annual Operations At-a-Glance
Visitation: 80,000 people
Programs: for 10,500 visitors; for 26,000 youth
Staff: 20 year-round; 75-peak season
Volunteers: 200 year round; 400 special events
Organizational History and Milestones
When we opened in 1992, the Center was a public/private partnership between the state, two non-profits and the University of New Hampshire (UNH). By 2001, we had outgrown that structure and became an independent non-profit organization. We maintain our tradition of partnership with a strong connection to UNH and by collaborating with a wide network of institutions.
In 2004 and 2007 we completed two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded capital projects. The 2004 project included interior renovations and upgraded exhibit life support systems. The Gregg Interactive Learning Studio opened in 2007 with technology that connects on-site and off-site students and visitors to multimedia educational experiences.
We began integrating whale ecology into our exhibits in 2009 when we acquired the skeleton of Tofu, a young humpback whale. In 2012, the exhibit was expanded and now includes the widest collection of marine mammal skeletons on public display in northern New England.
The Center was granted authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service to lead New Hampshire’s marine mammal rescue effort, effective January 1, 2014. In 2018, NOAA fisheries officially expanded the Seacoast Science Center’s response territory to include northern Massachusetts, from Essex to Salisbury. The Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue team responds to stranded, injured and diseased seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins in the coastal region. The team also educates beach goers and coastal communities about marine mammal ecology, how their work plays an important role in monitoring ocean health, and what to do when they spot a seal or other marine mammal on the shore.