35 years ago, we opened with a mission to insp…

35 years ago, we opened with a mission to inspire conservation of the ocean. The idea of a “Monterey Bay Aquarium” built atop the remains of Cannery Row’s last sardine cannery, became a reality and sparked a sea change in our community’s relationship with our blue backyard. 

Today, whaling vessels have been replaced by whale watchers, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary guides the sustainable management of this bountiful bay, and people visit from around the world to watch the scintillating magic of a swimming sardine school instead of taking them home in a can. 

35 years later, a new generation of ocean stewards has grown up with the Aquarium as a place to escape and to learn. School field trips, family traditions, pit-stops on coastal road trips, first dates, engagements, volunteer shifts, career moves, bucket lists and so many more events have brought the extended Aquarium family together to share a love of the ocean and all its inhabitants.

This Aquarium generation grew up with the knowledge that conservation works, that the ocean is resilient and can recover with our help, and that we can prosper in a sustainable relationship with the ocean. They’ve seen fisheries rebound and sustainable seafood become a global standard thanks to @seafoodwatch. And they’ve taken these ideas to heart and run with them, transforming industries, passing legislation and joining a fast-growing ocean-minded community that extends far beyond our walls. 

And now, as the very newest cohort of emerging ocean stewards arrives in the exhibit galleries to begin their journey of bettering our blue planet, we want to pause and say: We’re deeply indebted to each and every one of you—our guests, volunteers, members, donors, staff, communities, fans and followers—for your support. You make the Aquarium and our work possible. Thank you. Onward for the ocean!

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