Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco Bay’s Aquarium. We are passionate about providing fun and unforgettable encounters with our natural world in ways that ignite both wonder and conservation. We do this from our 50,000 square foot building at the heart of San Francisco's history and culture. We are nestled in the shadow of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill on Fisherman’s Wharf at PIER 39, along the City’s “Walkable Waterfront.”
Aquarium of the Bay is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.
Aquarium of the Bay partners with The Bay Institute to protect, restore and inspire the conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea. Our passion and our work are locally-focused, but have a broad impact that touches upon every major challenge facing our global environment.
How do we achieve the mission?
We focus on water, beginning at the heart—the very depths—of San Francisco Bay. Our facility boasts 300 feet of crystal clear acrylic tunnels holding 700,000 gallons of carefully maintained bay water that sustains approximately 20,000 animals, from octopuses to eight-foot native, sevengill sharks. Visitors are also treated to mesmerizing walls of jellies and a chance to touch bat rays, skates and “splash zone" animals.
In our fifteen year history, over seven million guests, including more than 100,000 school children, have visited the Aquarium.
Why We’re Effective
Because we concentrate on showcasing native animals from San Francisco Bay in such a beautiful, fun and personal way, we nurture emotional connections that transform into powerful personal and political action.
Because we reach over 600,000 people a year, these connections have high impact. We extend our reach through our “Conservation Impact Programs,” scientifically designed efforts where we work with partners to:
provide research on local shark populations
bring back native salmon
assist chefs, restaurants and consumers in selecting “Sustainable Seafood”
remove invasive species from marine and estuary environments
support endangered species
combat climate-induced sea level rise
enact policy that will create healthy fresh water flows back to San Francisco Bay
create a series of original and ready-made temporary exhibitions that explore local and global environmental challenges: climate change, habitat loss, and unsustainable harvest.
Smart Partnerships, Great Science
Our research efforts are grounded in peer-reviewed science and focus on monitoring and improving life for all San Francisco Bay species. We work both alone and in partnership on research including shark monitoring and captive breeding programs. Our goal is to understand how best to ensure that native animals can thrive in the busy, much used waters of San Francisco Bay, its estuary, marshes and tributaries.
A Word from Our Fans
“This is the most awesome-est place ever in the whole world!”
Jake, age 5
“This is our second time coming here. This time it was special due to it being our son's birthday. He got a shark crown, and was super excited the whole time! I really love their Jellyfish section, they are just such amazing creatures. The under water tunnel is great, makes you feel so close to all the fish, almost like if you can touch them. But I would have to say that the best part is the touching exhibit. My son had a blast touching bat rays and baby sharks!”
“…Aquarium of the Bay is indeed a loveable place.”
“The staff are incredibly friendly, too, and oftentimes will approach you to offer tidbits of interesting information while you are viewing a particular specimen. I love this place and will certainly be back…”