Facts & Figures
- October 20, 1984
- 501(c)(3) California not-for-profit corporation founded in 1978
- Grand opening year (1984): 2.37 million
- 2017 total: 1.9 million
- Annual average: 1.8 million
- Through 2017: Nearly 62 million
Staff & Volunteers
- Approximately 550 full and part-time staff
- More than 1,400 volunteers, who have collectively contributed more than 4 million hours since 1984
Exhibit, Number & Sizes
- Nearly 200 galleries and exhibits devoted to the diverse habitats of Monterey Bay. Four largest exhibits:
- Open Sea: 1.2 million gallons; 90-feet across, 52-feet front to back, 35-feet tall
- Kelp Forest: 335,000 gallons; 28-feet tall
- Monterey Bay Habitats: 326,000 gallons; more than 90-feet long
- Sea Otters: 55,000 gallons; 15-feet tall
- Ocean’s Edge galleries: $55 million when opened in October 1984; $11 million renovations opened in May 2005
- Open Sea galleries: $57 million when opened in March 1996; $19 million renovations opened July 2011
- Total site: 3.3 acres and 320,000 sq. ft.
- Exhibits and other public areas: 175,000 sq. ft. (excludes decks)
- Ocean-view decks: 25,000 sq. ft.
- Behind the scenes: 120,000 sq. ft.
Animals & Plants
- More than 35,000 animals and plants representing more than 550 species of fishes, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds and plants found in Monterey Bay and other marine habitats worldwide.
- This changes constantly as new species arrive through an open seawater system.
- 1,800 gallons of water per minute (24 hours a day) pumped into the Aquarium.
- Nearly one billion gallons of seawater annually flows from the bay through the Aquarium and back into the ocean.
- Incoming water goes directly to the Kelp Forest exhibit first and then splits into pipes that feed other exhibits.
First & Only in World
- To successfully exhibit and release great white sharks
- To reintroduce rescued sea otter pups to the wild using a surrogacy program
- To build a living kelp forest exhibit
- To exhibit deep-sea cephalopods (vampire squid, flapjack octopus, strawberry squid)
- To discover the lifecycle of several jellyfish species (purple striped, flower hat jellies)
- To consistently propagate comb jellies (sea gooseberries and others)
Only U.S. Aquarium
- To exhibit bluefin and yellowfin tuna
- To care for a Laysan albatross (in human care due to wing injury)
- To exhibit ocean sunfish and pyjama squid
TV & Film Highlights
- 2016: Big Little Lies (HBO)
- 2016: Finding Dory
- 2015: Big Blue Live (BBC/PBS)
- 2013: Saving Otter 501
- 2011: Oceans in Glass
- 2008: Seven Pounds
- 1988: Sphere
- 1986: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Location & Schedule
- 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, California
- Open daily, except Christmas Day