he current design of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium was achieved by the architects Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis; who later, in 1988, received an honorary Award from the American Institute of Architects for their outstanding work.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp. One of their signature attractions, you relax on perfectly placed benches and marvel at the 8.5m (27.8 ft.) tall kelp forest as Pacific creatures flit between the waving strands, swaying like the hair of some sea-deep leviathan. Sardines, leopard sharks, wolf eels, rockfish… the tank swirls with life as it circulates fresh salt-water direct from the Bay combined with a wave machine to create an endless dance of life.
In their tranquil fluidity, the jellyfish rooms create an ambiance that seems to reflect the region’s psychedelic history. Perfect, Kreisel tanks (aquariums with slow, circular water flows, no hard corners, and minimum interior hardware) prevent the delicate life from getting hurt while their circular flow moves the translucent forms as if suspended in orbit.
Other exhibits include Giant Pacific Octopuses, Sea Horses and the ever-favorite Sea Dragons. At the back of the aquarium, overlooking the pacific is “Life on the Bay.” A place to spot wild sea otters, pelicans, dolphins, harbor seals, sea birds, and the rest of the denizens of the coast.
The Monterrey Bay Aquarium is deeply committed to marine life conservation and you can easily learn about and become involved in the different campaigns end awareness programs they offer, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
From the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Press Release:
In the Ocean’s Edge galleries, fresh seawater is pumped continuously and directly from Monterey Bay to maintain the great diversity of plant and animal life in the exhibits. By day, filtration leaves the water clear for public viewing. At night, unfiltered seawater flows through the exhibits. The raw seawater not only sustains filter-feeding animals, but it also carries in spores and larvae of plant and animal life that settle and grow in the exhibits – making the exhibits a “living extension” of the bay. Water enters through two 16-inch-diameter, 980-foot-long intake lines located 55 feet deep in the bay. Pumps draw up to 2,050 gallons of seawater per minute into the aquarium seawater distribution system, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – more than a billion gallons of water a year. Four operating modes permit varying levels of filtration, from raw seawater to pressure-sand-filtered, de-embolized seawater. Most aquariums are located on polluted bodies of water or inland of the coast, making “open” system designs like this impossible.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
(1) 831 – 648 4800
886 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940 USA
10:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday
10:00 – 18:00 Saturday – Sunday
9:30 – 18:00 Monday – Friday
9:30 – 20:00 Saturday – Sunday – holidays