No, I don’t mean Baskin-Robbins is adding a new fish flavor to its menu (Orange Turbot, perhaps?). But the Aquarium of the Pacific becomes the 31st large public aquarium I have visited worldwide. Located in Long Beach, California, the Aquarium sits on the edge of the harbor with the Queen Mary basking in the background. Not the actual Queen, of course, but the ocean liner that sailed the Atlantic from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line before being permanently moored and turned into a hotel.
My tour of the Aquarium of the Pacific took place during the SETAC meeting I mentioned in previous posts here and here. It’s traditional to have a Tuesday night social event and when there is an aquarium handy it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the aquarium becomes the setting. Upon arrival I headed upstairs to see most of the exhibits before the aquarium turned down the lights in the simulated night/day cycle.
The aquarium is the largest in California and the fourth largest in the United States. Over 1.5 million people pass through its doors every year to see over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits. Like most aquariums it goes way beyond just display for entertainment, offering many opportunities for education and research.
Earlier in the day the President and CEO of the Aquarium, Jerry R. Schubel, gave a rousing presentation on man’s role and obligations when it comes to protecting the seas, the climate, and the biodiversity of this planet.
Overall the Aquarium of the Pacific provides a very nice introduction to the animals and plants of the oceans, with special emphasis on the Pacific. It’s a short walk from the Long Beach Convention Center and all the accompanying hotels and restaurants. It’s well worth the visit should you find yourself in Long Beach.
Check out more on their website: http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/
More on the aquariums I have visited here.
David J. Kent is an avid science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, now available. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.
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