Aquarium of the Bay

We focus on water, beginning at the heart”the very depths”of San Francisco Bay. Located on San Francisco’s iconic waterfront, Aquarium of the Bay provides unforgettable encounters with local marine life that inspire both wonder and conservation and leave a lasting impact with guests. Over the course of our nearly 20-year history, approximately seven million guests have visited the Aquarium. We are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. While our passion and work are locally-focused, we have a broad impact that touches many challenges facing our global environment.

The Bay and the Animals Who Call it Home

Our marine nature center boasts 300 feet of crystal clear acrylic tunnels holding 700,000 gallons of carefully maintained Bay water that sustains approximately 20,000 animals who live in the Bay and nearby waters, from octopuses to eight-foot sevengill sharks. Guests are also treated to mesmerizing walls of jellies and a chance to have up close and personal encounters with leopard sharks, bat rays, skates, and other animals.

Life-changing Impact

By connecting our guests with native marine animals in an engaging and meaningful manner, we nurture transformative, emotional connections that inspire conservation advocacy. Because we reach over 600,000 people a year, these connections have high impact. We extend our reach even further through our “Conservation Impact Programs”, working together with’s five divisions and other partner organizations to:

  • Create naturalistic animal habitats and programs that explore local and global environmental challenges: climate change, wildlife protection, sustainability, coast and ocean protection, and watershed health
  • 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
  • Educate the public and combat climate-induced sea level rise
  • Enact policy that will create healthy fresh water flows back to San Francisco Bay

Educating the Next Generation

Our education program has served over 100,000 local K-12 students to date, and currently reaches more than 25,000 students each year through our work with schools in all nine counties and 101 cities that surround the Bay. We bring students and teachers to the waterfront to meet the animals who live in the Bay and see their ecosystem in action, and our BayMobile mobile classroom brings the Bay directly to schools throughout the region.

Smart Research, 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.

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