Scroll down the page to read more about the 3 aquariums listed above.
Phone numbers, address and contact information are at the bottom of this page or click on the links above to find out more
about these aquariums directly.
"Opened in 1996 and enhanced in 2001, Aquarium of the Bay is a unique educational and entertainment facility dedicated to
the rich and diverse aquatic life of San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters. The Aquarium provides a window to the Bay
that focuses on its distinctive ecosystems to SEARCH tain, educate and inspire preservation of this wonderful natural resource." from the "about us" page at www.aquariumofthebay.com
The Aquarium by the Bay recently underwent a multi million dollar renovation with much of the money going to stock the aquariums
themselves. When I owned SF Bay Whalewatching, I was invited to take a private tour of the facilities, I was so impressed with the "Aquarium
Adventure", which is an aquarium tunnel you walk through or underneath, I went back and spent two hours there. This is
how the Aquarium by the Bay describes their walk through aquarium:
"The Aquarium adventure continues with a descent into the hidden world of life under San Francisco Bay.
A moving walkway will take you through two crystal clear tunnels, 300 feet in length. You'll be surrounded
by 700,000 gallons of filtered Bay water and more than 23,000 aquatic animals.
This aquarium has really transformed from a basic tourist attraction to a generous enriching exploration of San Francisco Bay.
There are educational displays with many samples of the fish and marine wildlife of the San Francisco Bay. There are naturalists
on hand to answer questions and explain more.
They have touching tanks which are a rare opportunity to touch bat rays with the guidance of a naturalist.
In the Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, marine wildlife is strictly protected with guidelines of interaction which
we at SF Bay Whale Watching strongly uphold. Generally speaking, touching marine wildlife or disturbing it in it's natural
habitat is not a good idea. In many cases it is against the law. It is good practise to keep your distance from marine mammals
when you encounter them, observing them but not disturbing them. The touching tanks are supervised and offer a rare interaction,
I could of sworn the bat ray I touched in the touching tank liked interacting with me too.
I was surprised at the diversity of fish native to this area I was unaware of. I have a thing for rays and since they
are bottom dwellers and I don't often make it to the bottom of the Bay, this was a great opportunity to observe Rays, Wolf-Eels, Rockfish, Sharks and Tuna! (Amoung many other types of fish.)
I actually have sat on local cliffs watching for a glimpse of the
Monkey Faced Eel and was really excited to see them up close.
For the first time ever a white shark has lived in captivity at the Monterey Bay Aquarium giving us the rare opportunity to view, watch, record, learn
and love. Sometimes white sharks, or as they used to be refered to the "great white sharks", carry around quite a stigma.
Well there was Jaws, and then JawII and then all the fear of the unknown and white sharks have literally been unknown to us humans until
just in the recent decade. Much important research has been conducted specifically at the Farallon Islands on white sharks.
We learned for example that they migrate. We used to think that the red triangle, or the body of water between Point Reyes, The Farallon
Islands and Ana Nuevo, was the home of the white shark. We now know they MIGRATE here to the gulf of the Farallones by the observations
of scientists on the Farallon Islands and using satellite tracking systems.
Back to the Aquarium. I visited the Montery Bay Aquarium October 20th, 2004 to catch a glimpse of white shark called "Charolette gray" by some.
She has since been released into the gulf of the farllones waters since then, on March 31, 2005.
White Shark on Exhibit (2004-2005)
Put on exhibit Sept. 14, 2004 62 pounds 5 feet
Released to the wild March 31, 2005 162 pounds 6 feet 4½ inches
I had the good fortune to go on a weekday and be able to watch her for a few hours. I closed the place down and the really nice janitor
had to ask me to leave finally. She circled the tank. It was hard to photograph her through the thick glass, and it only worked out
when she swam through the light, but there are a few pictures for you here.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an aquarium in it's own class with scientific studies of many kinds going on in the area and vast research resources.
Please visit the web site to learn more on white sharks http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/whiteshark.asp
their other projects like Seawatch and much more.
The aquarium has many other incredible exhibits as well such as the penquins, sea otters, giant kelp forrest aquarium, jellies as art,
monterey canyon, and past special exhibits like seahorses with sharks being the current featured exhibit.
I was very partial to the jellyfish as art exhibit while I was there, finding jellyfish to
be quite art like. Moving flowing art. On my trips to the Farallon Islands in the fall I have sometimes see great schools of Lions
Mane Jellyfish migrating from Peru. It was magnificent and looks like a ballet. I have also see the moon jellyfish, sail-by-the_wind or
Velella Velella , and a few other kinds. The naturalists on the trips point them out and help identify them.
Lions Mane Jellyfish don't photograph as well from the boat as they do in aquariums. I kind of went crazy photographing jellyfish
at the two aquariums and puplished a popular jellyfish series. Apparently there are a lot of jellyfish fans out there as well.
Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39
Opened in 1996 and enhanced in 2001, Aquarium of the Bay is a unique educational and entertainment facility dedicated to the rich and diverse aquatic life of San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters. The Aquarium provides a window to the Bay that focuses on its distinctive ecosystems to entertain, educate and inspire preservation of this wonderful natural resource.
1-888-SEA DIVE (1-888-732-3483) 415-623-5300
Aquarium of the Bay
PIER 39, Embarcadero at Beach Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary - http://farallones.nos.noaa.gov/contact/welcome.html They have a Museum on
Crissy Field.The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary protects an area of 948 square nautical miles (1,255 square miles) off the northern and central California coast. Located just a few miles from San Francisco, the waters within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are part of a nationally significant marine ecosystem. Encompassing a diversity of highly productive marine habitats, the Sanctuary supports an abundance of species.
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore contains unique elements of biological and historical interest in a spectacularly scenic panorama of thunderous ocean breakers, open grasslands, bushy hillsides and forested ridges.
RESEARCH + MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL LINKS
Point Reyes Bird Observatory
PRBO Conservation Science is dedicated to conserving birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through innovative scientific research and outreach.
Oikonos increases ecosystem knowledge through science, art, technology, education, and applied conservation.
The Marine Mammal Center
The Marine Mammal Center recognizes human interdependence with marine mammals and their importance as sentinels of the ocean environment, the health of which is essential for all life. It is our responsibility to use our awareness, compassion and intelligence to foster marine mammal survival and the conservation of their habitat. The Marine Mammal Center works toward this end.
Birding the Carquinez Straight Scenic Loop Trail Downloadable PDF
Which is a collaboration amoung the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the San Francisco Bay Trail, by the San Francisco Bay Bridge Observatory. For more
information visit www.baytrail.com, www.ridgetrail.org or for copies of this guide and detailed lists of birds visit www.sfbbo.org.