Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is located beneath the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Date opened 1996
Location Santa Monica, California, USA
Coordinates 34°0′37.6″N 118°29′45.4″W / 34.010444°N 118.495944°W / 34.010444; -118.495944Coordinates: 34°0′37.6″N 118°29′45.4″W / 34.010444°N 118.495944°W / 34.010444; -118.495944
Number of species 104
The California Moray Eel is one of the featured local species on display.
This California Two-Spot Octopus is 3-4 months old.

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.

The SMPA has numerous exhibits featuring marine life native to the Santa Monica Bay, including:

  • Shark / Ray Tank
  • Octopus Tank
  • 3 Touch Tanks
  • Crustacean Tank
  • Phylum Discovery Tank
  • Rocky Reef Tank
  • Pier Tank (Under the pier environment)
  • Kelp Forest Tank
  • Sandy Bottom Tank

Species on display include:





  • Bat Star
  • Ochre Sea Star
  • Brittle Star
  • Purple Sea Urchin
  • Sand Dollar
  • California Sea Cucumber


  • Club-Tipped Anemone
  • Tube Dwelling Anemone


In February 2009 the two-spotted octopus managed to manipulate the pipe connection that takes care of draining the water tank. Consequently a few hundred gallons of water flooded the visitor space. [1] [2]

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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