Learn all about the habitats and inhabitants of the Santa Monica Bay July 28-29 during Ocean Appreciation weekend at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
This annual tribute to the ocean ‑- and celebration of the role it plays in our lives -- focuses on the four habitats of the Santa Monica Bay: the sandy bottom, the kelp forest, the rocky shore and the open ocean. Through games, arts and crafts projects and naturalist presentations, visitors can explore each of these unique environments while gathering fun facts about the animals that inhabit them.
Here’s a sample of some of the fun activities we have planned:
Take costumed photos of your friends and family in an ocean landscape;
Play a fishing game;
Make and race your own plankton in our “Great Plankton Race;”
Go on a scavenger hunt;
Create marine themed arts and crafts;
Get your face painted with your favorite sea creature.
In addition, displays, presentations and activities focusing on environmental hot topics give all visitors the opportunity to increase their marine science knowledge, such as learning about bottlenose dolphins in open ocean habitat. Author Maddalena Bearzi will discuss her book Dolphin Confidential at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 28 in the Aquarium’s classroom. Bearzi, the founder of the Los Angeles Dolphin Project in California and cofounder of the Ocean Conservation Society, in the book recounts her fieldwork at sea and her observations and insights into the social behavior of dolphins. In addition, the book addresses the critical environmental and conservation problems facing these magnificent, socially complex, highly intelligent beings.
Visitors might catch a glimpse of dolphins just off the west end of the Pier at the marine wildlife observation station. Equipped with binoculars and field guides, Aquarium naturalists will be available to answer questions about the two habitats visible from the western end of the Pier – the sandy bottom and the open ocean. The weekly feeding at the shark exhibit will begin at 3:30 p.m. Sunday July 29 and will include an informational talk about these often misunderstood creatures.
Admission is free for children 12 and under. For all others, there is a suggested $5 donation or a $3 minimum admission. For groups of 10 or more, admission is $2 per person, regardless of age.