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I run a very small public aquarium in a small town of 2000 citizens. Running an aquarium, zoo,museum or public library is like running a church that is unbiased about peoples belief systems. We are visited by many people from around the United States and the world. We are a showcase for the local fishing industry. We are a place for fisherman to come and get away from all the hardships of their job. A place to watch the live fish they love. We have hosted meetings for homeless people to find resources available to them. We are a clearing house for ocean education to the school communities through out our local counties. We provide everything from classroom visits with exhibits to beach education through the Marine Mammal Stranding Network to on site aquarium education. We do many free and extreemely low cost field trips for students. We do job shadow programs for students that want to learn more about how to run an aquarium or learn more about the field of Marine Biology. We compost some of the leftover bones of the fisherman’s catch every year for fish education programs. We do all of this for one of the tiniest budgets of all of the museums in Washington State. We are concerned about the big business of non-profits these days. Non-profits are all too often tax shelters for profitable business that is not necessarily doing their share of good for the amount of money they are raising. I plan to continue to work towards ways that smaller zoos, aquariums, museums and Libraries and can receive support without having to go through expensive and time consuming systems set up for giant non-profits.

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