Aquarium of the Bay is a marine conservation centre located in San Francisco, on the edge of the city’s famous Pier 39 at Beach Street and Embarcadero.
The marine conservation centre originally opened back in 1996, when it was called Underwater World but it was declared bankrupt not long after. It reopened under its present name in 2000 and two years later, it became a profitable venture and was given accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The marine conservation centre focuses on the preservation and conservation of the diverse range of marine life and ecosystems that can be found locally in the San Francisco Bay area and neighbouring waters.
It has over 50 sharks including leopard sharks, seven gill sharks and angel sharks. The marine conservation centre is also home to eels, skates, bat rays, sea cucumbers and plenty of other marine wildlife species.
The marine conservation centre covers an area of over 65, 000 feet. It has 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels and holds over 700, 000 gallons of filtered water brought directly from the Bay. Altogether, it is home to over 20, 000 marine creatures.
Following long protracted discussions that had gone on for 13 years, the Bay Institute finally acquired the marine conservation centre in June 2009 with the aim of focusing its efforts on promoting education, research and conservation whilst simultaneously continuing to ensure that the marine conservation centre and attraction remains profitable.
It is estimated that the marine conservation centre hosts nearly 600, 000 visitors each year. From an educational standpoint, the marine conservation centre provides free tours and classes to more than 15, 000 local Bay area school children each year as well.
One of the marine conservation centre’s latest attractions is its Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit and there’s a graceful gliding jellies exhibit to enjoy too.
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