The CMLC is open with reduced hours. Fridays 11am-3pm and Saturdays 11am-5pm. Masks are required for all visitors inside the CMLC over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status.

What's Inside?

Located on the edge of the harbor in Charleston, OR, the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology’s Charleston Marine Life Center is an exciting place for discovery. Aquaria highlighting different coastal ecosystems, a tidepool touch tank, whale and sea lion skeletons, underwater video from deep reefs and undersea volcanoes, and a variety of specimens reveal the hidden and remarkable diversity of life off Oregon, from the coast to the deep sea.

Five exhibit galleries focus on coastal ecosystems, deep-water habitats, fisheries, marine mammals, and ongoing marine research. From the CMLC’s windows, you can look out over the harbor as fishing boats unload their catch, and watch seals, sea lions and birds a few feet away. Find out about on-going marine biology research, check out a working ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), explore collections and zoom in with microscopes.


We work hard to display a large assortment of animals collected directly off the coast by marine biologists, students, and volunteers.


We’ve spent years designing exhibits that detail the animals found off the Oregon coast. Here you’ll find fossils, skeletons, historical accounts, native american artifacts and much more.

Touch Tanks

A large tidepool touch tank and deep water touch tank will help you get up close to animals and learn even more about them.

Programs and Field Trips

Special events and programs are available for visiting students and groups. Inquire about ways we can make your experience unforgettable.
For more information click the programs link at the top of the page

Plan Your Visit

Explore the ocean from coasts to canyons, estuaries to volcanoes!

Oregon waters are filled with spectacular animals and rich ecosystems. For marine biologists, they contain a treasure trove of curiosities awaiting exploration and discovery. We bring little-known creatures out of the depths and into the community to engage, educate, and inspire.

Situated on the campus of the University of Oregon’s marine biology institute (OIMB est. 1930), the Charleston Marine Life Center is an educational facility for visitors of all ages. Make a trip to Charleston to visit some of the most spectacular coastline in Oregon, then visit the Center to learn about the creatures that live here.

  • Children


  • Students with ID


  • Adults


  • Seniors / AAA


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