Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is an aquarium in Santa Monica, California, located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Since 2003, it is operated by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization. It was formerly known as the Ocean Discovery Center and was operated by UCLA.
As Heal the Bay’s marine education facility, it is open to the general public and attracts more than 65,000 visitors from around the world per year (approximately 15,000 are students). This facility offers educational programs, activities, and special events dedicated to marine conservation, pollution prevention, and environmental education. At the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, come see what Heal the Bay’s work is all about: Protecting the animals that call the Bay home. With over 100 local species on exhibit, hands-on activities and daily educational programs, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is the perfect place to immerse yourself in marine science without getting your feet wet.
Species on display include:
In February 2009 the two-spotted octopus managed to manipulate the pipe connection that takes care of draining the water tank. Two hundred gallons of water from the valve flooded the visitor space. The event received significant media attention.