SAN FRANCISCO, June 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- San Francisco's only waterfront aquarium, Aquarium of the Bay, is proud to announce its new designation as a Smithsonian Affiliate. This prestigious designation makes it one of only three institutions in San Francisco and the only dedicated aquarium in the state of California to be honored as an affiliate. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, an educational and research organization dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge.
The Aquarium of the Bay, which just celebrated its 21st anniversary, provides an unparalleled window to San Francisco Bay's amazing marine biodiversity. The Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 animals including sevengill sharks, bat rays, jellies, North American river otters, and many more; including iconic and magnificent 300-foot long, 750,000 gallon clear tunnels which reveal much of the Aquarium's fascinating marine life. Focused on education and conservation, Aquarium of the Bay is the only aquarium dedicated to conserving the diverse marine life and distinctive ecosystems of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, and has hosted more than 10 million visitors and over 194,000 free trips for Bay Area students.
"We are pleased to announce the Smithsonian's new affiliation with the Aquarium of the Bay," said Harold A. Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations Director, "It is an organization known for excellence in research and education. The Aquarium's living collections and other displays inspire wonder and appreciation in visitors of all ages. The collaboration with the Smithsonian will give both organizations new opportunities to share scholarship about our natural world and the many forces that shape it. We look forward to working with the staff of the Aquarium of the Bay to enable visitors to experience and fully appreciate the interconnectedness of all life, both in the water and on the land."
"Being a Smithsonian Affiliate is not only a distinct honor for Aquarium of the Bay, it also opens the door for us to reach millions of visitors through our exhibits, educational, outreach and research programs centered on the San Francisco Bay's incredible array of marine life," said George Jacob, President & CEO of bay.org/bay ecotarium, the organization which oversees the Aquarium and five other divisions. Jacob previously worked on multiple assignments at the Smithsonian over the years, and is currently leading a $160 million masterplan to transform the Aquarium into an ecotarium with a unique exhibit experience, a move vital to the conservation and protection of the San Francisco Bay and its fragile ecosystem.
About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery, and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.
About Aquarium of the Bay
Aquarium of the Bay is part of bay.org/bay ecotarium, a not-for-profit nature center with a mission to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the Sea. The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Located next to the beautiful San Francisco Bay on PIER 39, known for the sea lions, Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco'sonly waterfront aquarium. Dedicated to the diverse marine life and ecosystems of the Bay, the Aquarium is home to more than 20,000 local animals. Additional information at aquariumofthebay.org.