Friday, August 24, 2012

20th Anniversary of Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

September 16, 2012, marks the 20th anniversary of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. When it opened in 1992, it was three times larger than its predecessor, Scripps Aquarium, which operated for forty-one years next to the Scripps Pier.

The mission of Birch Aquarium at Scripps is to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation.

Nestled comfortably between the University of California and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium overlooks the famous Scripps Pier with La Jolla Shores to the south and Torrey Pines to the north.

My granddaughter and I spend an enjoyable afternoon there yesterday. Besides learning about the local sea life off our Pacific Coast from the Northwest to Baja, there are hands-on exhibits on energy conservation, climate change, and innovative energy resources that were quite interesting.

The most striking feature of this aquatic science complex is the huge floor to ceiling Kelp Forest Tank which houses many species of local marine life, weaving in and out of amber forests of kelp. The Kelp beds, off the Southern Californian coast, provide shelter and habitat for hundreds of species of marine life as this massive tank demonstrates.

What seems to be the most popular attraction for everyone at Birch is Tide-Pool Plaza. Many life forms found in tidal pools along our San Diego coastline are concentrated in an accessible, hands-on, outdoors exhibit built on a deck that overlooks the grandeur of the Pacific Ocean.

If you find yourself in the San Diego area, this is an affordable and lovely way to spend an afternoon. For more information, check the link:
aquarium.ucsd.edu