The Ocean Star Offshore Museum held a special reception in Galveston on Friday to kick off its 15th anniversary celebration. Listen
“It’s pretty amazing, 15 years has gone by pretty fast,” said Roger Pinkerton, chair of the Offshore Energy Center. “What a wonderful facility that we have here that we can bring down people and show them about our industry.”
“We’ve been very blessed to have sponsors and companies that have donated time and money to make the museum as good as it is today and I am proud to be a part of that,” said Sandra Mourton, executive director of the Offshore Energy Center, who also praised the staff at the Ocean Star, including Gift Shop Manager Margi Peterson, her assistant Bessie Ramirez and Operations Director Lisa Lisinicchia. “ Ike took the gift shop away and we had a temporary gift shop and Margi made that work.”
Lisinicchia thanked the representatives of the offshore energy industry for helping to keep the museum up to date throughout the years.
“Museums are always an interpretative work in progress,” she said.
Lisinicchia noted that the museum’s anniversary was also the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire; and called for a moment of silence in respect for the 11 men who lost their lives in the incident.
The celebration included a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new exhibit provided by the Outer Continental Shelf Advisory Board. Leon Hirsh explained the role of the OCS Advisory Board and introduced board chair, Becky Harden, to describe the new exhibit regarding offshore land management.
Harden also presented a $10,000 surprise donation to the Ocean Star from the OCS Advisory Board.
“This has been a labor of love for the past year and one half,” she said. “Our display shows you what an offshore landman does. And without the lease there is no grease.”
The ceremony occurred as a weather system moved across Galveston Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving a double rainbow in the sky as the guests departed the rig.
Multiple events commemorating the milestone will include an “open house” on Friday, April 27, 2012.
Lisinicchia invites the public to enjoy free admission throughout the day and bring the family to explore hands on activity stations in the museum. "Come explore the rig, learn about how oil and gas are formed, and the amazing technology used by the industry to locate and produce oil and gas offshore."
The OEC has grown over the years and administers various education outreach programs, including teacher workshops, and the very successful Knowledge Box and Playing with Petroleum classroom kits, which have moved from a local Houston area program to become a nationwide program, being utilized as far away as California and Alaska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana. More than 3100 teachers have participated in the workshops which provide them with valuable ready-to-use curriculum tools. OEC’s Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) brings the museum experience to the schools. Additionally, Career Fairs aboard the Ocean Star provide students the opportunity to visit the museum and talk with company and college representatives about opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
More than 430,000 have people visited the Ocean Star since it opened, including visitors from more than 40 countries and 49 of the 50 states. Since the inception of the Hall of Fame housed on the Ocean Star, more than 80 Industry Pioneers and hundreds of Technology Pioneers have been inducted in an effort to preserve the industry’s history as it unfolds.
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