Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium kicks off the New Year with a grand opening January 18 of the remodeled Dorothy Green Room. The public is invited to visit the Aquarium for free, sponsored by Cirque du Soleil.
The newly renovated Dorothy Green Room brings a holistic approach to water and a fresh focus on the watersheds of the Santa Monica Bay while celebrating Heal the Bay’s founder – and founding – through interactive displays and two new exhibits of live animals.
One side of the revamped space, which doubles as a classroom, illustrates an urban watershed and explores how human behavior impacts the ocean; the opposite wall is converted into a more natural watershed exhibit, including tanks featuring riparian and estuarine organisms.
The room officially opens to the public with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m.
Special guest presenters will showcase animals typically found throughout the watershed, including Gary Bucciarrelli of UCLA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who will bring California newts to accompany his talk about healthy watersheds. An Orange County nonprofit, Inside the Outdoors, will bring a menagerie of animals for a special presentation.
Free admission for the grand opening, courtesy of Cirque du Soleil, kicks off a multi-layered, community partnership between the Aquarium and the world-renowned circus artists as they set up the Grande Chapiteau in the beach lot adjacent to the Pier for a run of their show, Totem.