Located on San Francisco’s iconic waterfront, Aquarium of the Bay provides unforgettable encounters with local marine life that inspire both wonder and conservation. We are a division of bay.org, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco.
As part of bay.org, our mission is to protect, restore and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea. While our passion and work are locally-focused, we have a broad impact that touches upon every major challenge facing our global environment.
The Bay and the Animals Who Call it Home
We focus on water, beginning at the heart—the very depths—of San Francisco Bay. 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 “splash zone" animals.
Over the course of our nearly 20-year history, nearly seven million guests, including more than 100,000 local K-12 students, have visited the Aquarium. 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 bay.org’s five divisions and other partner organizations to:
- Create naturalistic animal habitats and programs that explore local and global environmental challenges: climate change, habitat loss, water pollution, and unsustainable harvest.
- 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
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 underwater 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 personal animal encounters. My son had a blast with the 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…”