Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see stop during your visit to Monterey! Since opening their doors in 1984, the Aquarium has inspired millions of visitors and become a world-renowned leader in ocean conservation.
According to their website, the mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to “inspire conservation of the ocean. We inspire frolicking sea otters, fast-swimming sharks, pulsating jellies and waddling penguins — our world-class exhibits and breathtaking scenery instill a love of the ocean in our visitors. With over 200 exhibits and 80,000 plants and animals, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.”
The Aquarium isn’t just a place to see the ocean residents. They act on behalf of the ocean by rebuilding sea otter populations and transforming fisheries and aquaculture around the world, all while working to protect California’s ocean. Their policy experts are moving the needle on legislation to address climate change and end plastic pollution, and their Seafood Watch team is shifting the global marketplace to make seafood more sustainable.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s top priority is education and more than 2.5 million students have visited for free. Their programs help young people become ocean conservation leaders to help ensure a healthy future for the ocean.
Sea Otter Program
Sea otters are adorable, cute, and curious…and they are amazing ecosystem engineers! They help balance the complex food levels in every habitat from kelp forests to the coastal wetlands. The Aquarium not only saves individual animals, but they also release them into areas where they are desperately needed through their surrogacy program by rescuing, rearing, and returning the otter pups into the wild. They use the non-releasable otters in their exhibits as surrogate moms. The fantastic news about this way of doing things is that the surrogate-raised otter pups survival rates are comparable to their wild-raised kin, plus they are staying in the areas where they are released which helps that area’s ecological recovery!
From Abalone to Zebra Sharks and everything in between the Aquarium’s oceanfront location and sea life exhibits bring the wonders of the ocean to life for their visitors. Allow a minimum of three hours to see the key areas at the Aquarium, but don’t be surprised if you end up spending the entire day there because there is so much to see and do! For more information on the Monterey Bay Aquarium, visit their website at https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/
Located 3.5 miles from De Anza Inn