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Birch Aquarium  

Birch Aquarium at Scripps (sometimes referred to as Scripps Aquarium or Birch Aquarium) is the public outreach center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Birch Aquarium at Scripps has an annual attendance of more than 439,000, including more than 40,000 school children. It features more than 3,000 animals representing 380 species. The hilltop site provides views of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus and the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium’s mission reads: “At Birch Aquarium at Scripps, we connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet.”

The aquarium was established in 1903 after the Marine Biological Association of San Diego was created to conduct marine research in the local waters of the Pacific Ocean. (Its name was later changed to Scripps Institution of Oceanography to honor supporters Ellen Browning Scripps and E.W. Scripps, part of the Scripps family of newspaper pioneers.) The founders built and maintained a small public aquarium and museum to communicate their discoveries to the world. EZ San Diego Junk Removal

The researchers outgrew their modest laboratory in the boathouse of the Hotel del Coronado and moved to a small laboratory at La Jolla Cove in 1905. Several years later, the association purchased 174 acres (70 ha) at La Jolla Shores for $1,000 at a public auction from San Diego. The first permanent building at the new site was constructed in 1910. Today the Old Scripps Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Hall of Fishes

Hall of Fishes features more than 60 tanks of Pacific fishes and invertebrates. The path along the Hall of Fishes follows the currents of the North Pacific Gyre, starting with tanks inspired by the Pacific Northwest, then tanks with organisms from San Diego, CA followed by tanks with organisms from Mexico and Baja California, ending with tanks inspired by the Indo-Pacific. The largest habitat is a 70,000-U.S.-gallon (260,000 l) kelp forest tank. The tank can be viewed life online through the Kelp Cam.


Just past the Boundless Energy courtyard is ElasmoBeach. ElasmoBeach is a sandy-bottomed external tank based on the seafloor of La Jolla. This tank features various sharks and rays, including leopard and pacific angel sharks.

Tide-Pool Plaza

Tide-Pool Plaza features three living tide pools where visitors can touch and learn about tide-pool animals with docents. Windows in the habitats provide up-close views of starfish, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and other animals local to San Diego’s tide pools. The tide pool overlooks La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean.

Restaurants Nearby

  • Cusp Dining & Drinks is located at 7955 La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla, CA.
  • Dough Momma Pizzeria is located at 2152 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA


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