Frequently Asked Questions

How many North Coast Otter sculptures are there?
There are 108 North Coast Otters, plus Bunty, the Moor Otter, from England!

When can I bid on an otter sculpture online?

  • Last chance to bid online for the remaining OtterArt sculptures: 6 pm, Wednesday, 15 September 2021.
  • Last chance to view North Coast Otters is Wednesday from noon, 15 September 2021 at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center 921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka

I love that otter! What is the ‘Adoption Option’?

You may ‘adopt’ an otter to effectively ensure that you win! The agreed ‘adoption option’ rate is $5,000. Contact Jeff today at otterart@humboldt.edu to make a top auction offer that will support the cause (e.g. river otters, student opportunities, and clean water habitats)!

If I win an Otter, how do I pay? Great question! There are three payment methods:

  • Pay online: https://alumni.humboldt.edu/giving/north-coast-otters Click "One Time Gift" then Click "Other" for the amount and fill in your winning bid amount. In the comment section, please fill in the name of your otter.
  • Pay by check: Make check payable to "Humboldt Wildlife Special Programs," indicating the otter you won in the memo. Mail to: Humboldt Gift Processing Center—SBS 285, 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521.
  • Pay with cash: In-person at the Humboldt Gift Processing Center—Student Business Services building, room 285, in Arcata.

After I pay, where do I pick up my Otter and the redwood cabinet?

  • Otters will be at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center at 921 Waterfront Drive in Eureka (next to the Adorni Center), this Saturday, Sept. 18, from Noon-5pm. Please provide a copy of your payment receipt when you come to pick up your Otter. 
  • Please let us know if this time doesn't work for you and we'll work something out. 
  • The otter will be safely packed inside its redwood cabinet for protection during transport. We will help you load it into your vehicle. The cabinet is 3 ft 8 tall, 20 x 20 inches square and weighs 45 lbs.
  • In exceptional circumstances requiring delivery, contact Jeff Black (Otterart@humboldt.edu) or Monica Topping (Otterartmonica@gmail.com, (707) 442-8413) to make arrangements. The buyer is responsible for handling, shipping, and storage fees.

How do I get a copy of the Commemorative Auction Catalog?
The lovely catalog is available for $15 at the Humboldt Cashier’s Office in the Student Business Services (SBS) Building and The Ink People Center for the Arts located at 627 3rd Street, Eureka. Proceeds from the catalog sales and the auction will go toward additional river otter studies and student internships. Download a free catalog pdf here.

Tell me about the Otter Art and Ecology school program!
Cal Poly Humboldt students in the Natural Resources Environmental Education and Interpretation program designed a curriculum that reaches multiple Next Generation Science Standards for 3rd through 5th grade. The program was delivered to seven schools in Humboldt county in Spring semester 2020 and then converted into a downloadable pdf and mini-videos for teachers and families.

What’s the Junior Otter Spotter project all about?
In addition to the Otter Art and Ecology school program, Humboldt students created a Junior Otter Spotter Activities booklet (download small PDF 36 MB / download large PDF 70 MB). Youngsters can use this activity book to learn about wild river otters while practicing their own artwork to become a ‘Junior Otter Spotter’ and win a sticker. 

During the summer, Junior Otter Spotter activity booklets were made available for kids (and kids at heart) at these participating visitor centers:

• Crescent City Art (Crescent City)

• Arcata Marsh Visitor Center

• Friends of the Dunes (Somoa)

• Eureka Visitor Center (Old Town, Eureka)

• Sequoia Park Zoo (Eureka)

• Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge (Loleta)

• Southern Humboldt Chamber Visitor Center (Garberville)

Tell me about the raffle prizes! 
All summer long, otter spotters use the the Guidebook (download) to search for the otters and support local businesses. 

Visit 20 otters and submit your entry for a chance to win:

• Los Bagels breakfast for 2

• Adventures Edge gift certificates

• Organic Coffee at the Straw House

• Free entry passes – Sequoia Park Zoo

• Adventure tours with Pacific Outfitters

• Crab sandwich lunch for 2 at Gill’s By the Bay

• Message session @ Soul Feet (Crescent City)

• Voucher at Oberon Grill 

• Gift cards from Organic Grace (Garberville)

• Birdwatching and Otter Spotting tour with North Coast Otters

There will be ‘Most Sustainable Otter Spotter’ prizes for those showing how they completed their North Coast Otter treasure hunt(s) in a sustainable way (e.g. biking, hiking, and electric vehicles).

How sustainable is your project?
We are striving to reduce our carbon footprint in some small, but creative ways. We reached out to colleagues in the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and created a self-imposed type of ‘carbon tax’ to compensate for the production and shipment of the otter sculptures. Our ‘carbon tax’ donation is being used to support education and research on the Asian small-clawed otter on Palawan Island in the Philippines. This otter is designated with the “vulnerable” category of threatened species. We also chose to reduce our carbon footprint in the following ways:

The plinths (stands) that will eventually display the Otter Art sculptures were built using local, high quality craftsmanship from locally harvested wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). No shipping required.

The North Coast Otter maps and booklets will be printed on recycled paper from printers with green printing techniques, and we will post for viewing online and as pdfs for downloading.

No single use products, disposable merchandise, or trinkets were created or sold by North Coast Otters (extra stuff).

During the treasure hunt to seek sightings and selfies with the Otter Art sculptures, we encourage the most sustainable approaches to travel that works for you.

There will be a 'Most Sustainable Otter Spotter' prize for anyone who can show they have completed their North Coast Otter treasure hunt(s) in a sustainable way (e.g. biking, hiking, and electric vehicles).

I love this project! How do I donate to the cause?
Please visit our donations link. The cause: river otters, student opportunities, and clean water habitats!

I saw a wild river otter! How do I tell you about it?
Send your observations to otters@humboldt.edu, telling us when, where, how many adults and smaller pups, and the otters’ behavior. Or type the information on this form online.