Monterey Bay Aquarium Turns 25 in 2009!



Monterey Bay Aquarium Turns 25 with a Celebration Oct. 17-18, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, and a Cake Cutting on Oct. 20 at 11 a.m. (while supplies last). Join the silver anniversary and 25 years of inspiring ocean conservation. The weekend celebration includes live music; sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations and tastings; a scavenger hunt; prizes; a family craft room and more. Programs and activities include: Sustainable seafood demonstration and tasting prepared by Portola Restaurant's Chef David Anderson on the ocean-front deck, and learn how to make seafood choices that will assure a future with abundant ocean wildlife (Saturday only). Live music from Caribbean steel drums and Latin jazz by Derek Smith in the Marine Mammal Gallery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Family crafts in the Discovery Labs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Scavenger hunt includes finding 25 items that have been at the Aquarium since 1984. A Cake Cutting Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 20 beginning at 11 a.m. Guests can have a piece of cake while supplies last.

Awe Inspiring: Monterey Bay Aquarium Turns 25


By Craig MacDonald

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has become internationally known for its incredible ocean conservation efforts, is celebrating its 25th Birthday.

I was there, with my mother and 3-year-old son, the weekend it opened Oct. 20-21, 1984, and it has been creating major waves ever since. Spectacularly-built at the south end of Cannery Row, the amazing aquarium has played host to over 46 million visitors, 1.5 million school kids and distributed more than 32 million Seafood Watch Guides (which objectively show people the best ocean-friendly seafood). The Seafood Watch Program has even shifted the buying habits of the two biggest food service companies.

The aquarium's cutting-edge research and advocacy programs further help protect white shark, tuna and sea otters. Innovative exhibits, in the area previously made famous by John Steinbeck, even inspired the creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary--the largest national marine sanctuary in the Continental United States.

It's the only aquarium to successfully exhibit Great White Sharks, be home to the first living kelp forest and the largest living exhibit of deep sea creatures ever created, as well as the unbelievable jellyfish exhibits.

As a former Conference Director for one of the top companies in the World, I've never found a more incredible facility--full of awe and wonder to go along with delicious food--than this place. I have put on several major dinners in the Outer Bay Wing and Kelp Forest areas and not only are the venues awesome but the employees were an absolute delight to work with.

Credit must be given to David and Lucille Packard, whose foresight and funding helped create this fabulous facility as well as the Monterey Bay Research Institute. Under the loving stewardship of their daughter, Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard, the caring team members, over 1,250 volunteers and the exciting creatures, the MBA continues to spread fascination and understanding of the oceans to young and old alike, gaining a new appreciation of the water that makes up more than 70% of the Earth's surface.

If you haven't been to the Aquarium, go see it. If you can't go, you can still participate through podcasts and their website ( If you want to make ocean-friendly seafood choices and eat healthier, visit Seafood Watch on the Internet. If you join the aquarium as a member, you get all sorts of benefits from unlimited free admission, to discounts at the stores and for programs plus lots more.

It's no wonder the aquarium has inspired more than 24 others that have been created the past quarter century. A visit there will change your life!


Craig MacDonald is a Pulitzer Prize nominee, an Historian and Journalist.



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