I'm gonna pinch your toe off!The Regional Aquatics Workshop for 2005 will be co-hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in sunny Long Beach, California, welcoming RAW to the West Coast for the first time in its history. The conference will take place from Monday, June 20th to Friday, June 24th 2005 at the Westin Long Beach Hotel. The Regional Aquatics Workshop (RAW) is the only annual gathering of public aquarium facilities intended to give people an opportunity to share experiences and network with colleagues in an informal, laid-back environment (just as this website is intended to be). This is a conference for people who get their hands wet, as well as for people who used to get their hands wet, but don't very much anymore, and sometimes wish they still did. For more history about RAW, read this summary from Pete Mohan, one of its original founders.




6-17-05 We have updated our list of sponsors on the SPONSORSHIP page and just wanted to thank all of them again for their contributions in making this conference as affordable as possible for attendees. Without their support, these conferences would be very difficult to accomplish.


6-14-05 We have made arrangements for the gift shop to be open from 7:30 - 9:30 on the evening of the ice breaker at Aquarium of the Pacific. Attendees will get 20% off that night (and for the duration of the conference) by showing their name badges. They will also have free admission to the Aquarium for the week with the badge.


The schedule is now complete for the conference, although times are subject to changes. Go to the SCHEDULE section to see the details.


6-09-05 We now have times for when the registration table will be open for you to sign in when you arrive to the talks:


Registration Table Open
Monday 20th, 8am - 12pm, 4pm - 6pm
Tuesday 21st, 8am - 12pm
Tuesday evening at Icebreaker, if needed


6-08-05 RAW 2005 is just a couple weeks away!  We are finishing up the program and just wanted to send everyone a final reminder about registrations.  All registrants names and contact information will be printed in our program, so if you want  to be included but have not yet registered, please do so by this Friday, June 10.  In addition, this Friday is the deadline for submitting any remaining abstracts for presentations.

For those of you making last minute arrangements, the Westin Hotel in Long Beach has sold out of rooms for that week. You can check out other options in the ACCOMMODATIONS section.


6-05-05 Well, the period for the low rate for the Westin is over. There are other options if you are looking for inexpensive accommodation. Any web search should come up with other places to stay. If you do decide to book at the Westin even at the higher rates, please make sure you mention that you are booking for RAW, as the number of bookings we have affects our rates for conference space. Every little bit helps!


The optional boat dive trip to Catalina Island is not going to happen as demand was not high enough to fill a boat. Instead, we've organized something a little less involved and less expensive for those who still want to go and for those looking for an alternative. We can still go dive Catalina Island but this time we'll look to do it in Avalon, the main town on the island, and explore the Avalon Underwater Park. It's a marine sanctuary with abundant fish life (occasionally a Black Sea Bass) and a healthy and thriving kelp beds, so it's very spectacular and beautiful. Plus, there's a commemorative plaque honoring Jacques Cousteau that was placed down a few years ago. Here are the details:

COST:  $100 for divers, $60 for non-divers
INCLUDES: Catalina Express ferry round-trip, taxi to and from the Underwater Park, 1 SCUBA cylinder plus refills, weights
EQUIPMENT:  Best to bring your own but there are two dive shops in Avalon where you can rent gear if needed; rental gear cost is NOT included
FOOD:  No food is included in the price, but there are some great restaurants in Avalon, as well as the Dockside Cafe, 100 yards from the
DEPART:  8:30am (arrive by 7:45am) ferry at 320 Shoreline Dr. in Long Beach (within walking distance of the hotel and Aquarium, but a long walk)
RETURN:  7pm back in Long Beach (departs Catalina at 6PM)
DIVES:  3 - 4 depending on time, location, etc.

Please let me know if you are interested in going on this option. We've already contacted those of you who expressed an interest in the boat trip, but if there are any others that are interested, please let Sandy Trautwein (strautwein@lbaop.org) know. Again, we're sorry that the boat trip didn't work out, but this is also a great way to see spectacular kelp forests (plus Catalina Island is STUNNING!).


We are excited to present the graphics that will appear on the conference t-shirts that will be available for purchase. We're not sure on price yet, but expect it to be around $15. Make sure you bring a little extra cash to have that special memento from this most memorable gathering!


 t-shirt front chest        t-shirt back


6-02-05 The list keeps growing. We are up to 153 attendees! See who's coming in the REGISTRATION section.


5-31-05 Once again, we have had some problems with booking rooms through the Westin website. We have had the conference price for rooms of $99 extended until tomorrow, the 1st of June. However, the Westin website is unavailable as through the links provided on this website. Until we can see if this can been fixed, the best thing to do is phone the hotel and explain that you are booking for the RAW conference and get the room that way. The phone number for the Westin Long Beach is (562) 436-3000.


We are very pleased to announce that our sponsorship drive is making progress, but we are still in need of more. You can click on SPONSORSHIP to find out how you can help, as well as see who is already on the list. We thank all those that have already committed funds to our hosting efforts!


5-25-05 Well, it looks like the updates will be coming fast and furiously the closer we get to the conference. Just take a look at the list of registrants....we're up to 139 attendees!


Also, we've booked a band to play at the Icebreaker party at Aquarium of the Pacific after the first day of presentations. They are called "Delta Nove" (www.dnove.com) and play an eclectic mix of styles including afro beats, samba rhythms, New Orleans funk, and good ol' fashioned rock 'n roll.  They have been named by Jambase.com as one of the best shows to see in 2005!


5-24-05 Another quick reminder about the potential dive trip. We would like to know by this Friday if you are interested. If so, contact Sandy Trautwein by this Friday! Details look like this: if we get 20 people, it will be $125 per person, including airfills and food. But, you would need to bring all your own gear, including a SCUBA tank. If we get 25 people, the price comes down to $100 per person. There are several dive shops close by that we can direct you to to rent gear if you need.


The number of registrants continues to go up, so we hope you can find the time and budget to make it over to the West Coast. Remember, membership fee of only $50 includes snacks for all breaks during presentations, an Icebreaker event at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, a bus trip and visit (with food) to Birch Aquarium in San Diego (thanks guys!), and a conference ending BBQ at Cabrillo Aquarium in San Pedro (near Long Beach). How have we managed to make all this possible?? Hehehe, we don't know yet. Ask us after the conference. If you want to register, you can go to the REGISTRATION section to get the form you need as well a list of those already signed up. Maybe you can find someone to room with. If you are interested in helping the conference out financially while getting some great exposure for your products and/or services, go to our SPONSORSHIP section for more information.


5-18-05 Just over a month away! Have you signed up yet? Have you thought of a great presentation to make?!


We are gauging interest in the optional dive trip to Catalina Island. If you are interested, please email Sandy Trautwein (strautwein@lbaop.org) directly, and she will give you details like pricing and put you on the list.


5-11-05 Hi all....just over a month to go before the conference! One small thing: It turns out that we do not accept Discover Credit Cards as indicated on the registration form. This was an oversight. Our apologies. However, we DO accept American Express!


4-29-2005 We've added a list of those who have already registered for RAW in the REGISTRATION section, so we hope that we can add you soon as well!


Don't forget, call for presentations deadline is May 20th, and we really hope you will be able to offer the group some exciting new information from your experiences. If you're interested, you can get the details in the PRESENTATIONS section.


4-20-2005 There have been some changes to the registration form that you should be aware of. The fabrication session unfortunately will not happen. As well, the tour of tropical fish wholesalers will be limited to only 56 people. So please sign up soon to indicate if you would like to go.


Much to our regret, there are problems with room availability at the Westin as far as double bed rooms go. We are totally unsure as to how this happened, but RAW organizers apologize for the inconvenience this will inevitably cause. The main problem is that the Friday night of the 24th is out of double room beds, and only king bed rooms remain. So, if you enter your stay on the website as being for check-out on Saturday, then you will only be given the king bed room option. However, if you are savvy enough and willing enough, you could book for a Friday check-out and still get the double bed rooms, then book the extra night for a king bed. Another possibility is that roll-out beds could be added to king bed rooms, but it is an option we are still working on.


4-7-2005 Just a reminder to all that if you are in need of a roommate, we have a great way for you to connect with others with the same needs. Go visit the MESSAGE BOARDS to try and find a roomie.


3-31-2005 Please note that main contact duties are being changed to Sandy Trautwein, Curator of Fishes at Aquarium of the Pacific, and Jeff Landesman will take on Sponsorship duties as mentioned in yesterday's post. Please note the changes. Paul Clarkson, who has been the main contact for RAW 2005, is leaving the Aquarium of the Pacific after 8 years to take on new challenges, but will still be involved in the organization of the conference.


3-30-2005 The conference is less than 3 months away, and things are really heating up! We have now posted the official CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS. Please submit presentation and poster subjects according to directions on the form.


Also, we have had to modify the SPONSORSHIP structure. The main thing is that we have discovered that the original amount of exhibit space offered for the third tier sponsor will be smaller than hoped for. The new size is noted. Additionally, please make note that the contact person has changed to Jeff Landesman.


We are also aware of some problems with booking double bed rooms at the Westin and we are working with Westin Long Beach staff to resolve it. As it appears now, the website is offering double rooms. However, if you are unable to reserve one through the site, please phone the number on the website to speak with someone directly, and it should not be a problem.


2-08-2005 We have posted the registration form for the conference in the REGISTRATION section. Please note that the optional day events are still to be confirmed, but please let us know which ones you would be interested in.


1-05-2005 2005 has arrived and things are starting to gear up. We are making the official Call for Sponsors as we would like to start securing our budget for the conference. If you or the company/entity that you represent is interested in sponsoring RAW 2005, click on SPONSORS to find out more. We hope you can help!


1-01-2005 Happy New Year to everyone!


We'd like to welcome Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego as a sponsor/host for one of the evening functions that will entail a field trip to San Diego from Long Beach.



8-31-2004 The RAW 2005 website is now live. Many of the links are lacking information as we continue to bring things together. But, we wanted to provide you with some of the basics so that you could start planning, start budgeting. Check back here regularly to get updates on the latest transpiring with the conference in Long Beach.