Aquarium Showcase – the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego, California
As fish tank enthusiasts, we love to work with and enjoy our own aquatic displays, and knowing our own limits of time, resources, and money, it's difficult for most of us to imagine setting up and running the tanks and displays at some of the world's finest aquariums. Nevertheless, a visit to appreciate the spectacular displays at well funded and fully staffed aquariums is always a rewarding experience. If you happen to be near the southern coast of California, then we suggest a visit to the University of California San Diego's Birch Aquarium.
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is located to the north of San Diego's famous Mission, Ocean, and Pacific Beach, on a coastal bluff in La Jolla. The aquarium offers a number of exhibits, family days with family programs, a tide pool discovery center, public programs such as kayaking trips and presentations, school programs for kids, and even infant and toddler programs! This aquarium is truly a community service to San Diego and has as its mission to "provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation."
The Arthur M. and Kate F. Tode Hall of Fishes exhibit showcases species of fish from over 60 different ocean habitats. Displays feature marine life from the Pacific Northwest waters down to the tropical waters of Mexico, and the exhibit also features a seventy thousand gallon kelp forest tank. Also part of this exhibit is the Lynne and Howard Robbins Shark Reef, a thirteen thousand gallon tank that houses tropical reef dwelling shark species. Reef sharks (both white and black tip), wobbegongs, and brown banded bamboo sharks are among the denizens of
The museum, with a full time staff of employees and San Diego volunteer, also features magnificent coral displays. The coral galleries are a favorite of aquarium goers, and feature colorful displays of live corals and the marine life that surrounds them. Giant clams and lionfish are among the species that adorn these wonderful displays.
Yet another aquatic feature of the Birch Aquarium is the Preuss Tide Pool Plaza, a complex of three interactive tide pool displays. Visitors can touch and learn about the many species found in the tide pools found in and around San Diego's coast, including crabs, sea stars, and even lobsters!
If you want to become more involved in the great programs offered by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, you might think about doing some San Diego volunteer work. Volunteers span all ages and backgrounds, and help out in a number of ways, including answering visitor's questions in the aquarium, becoming educators on the various programs offered at the aquarium, and becoming promoters of ocean conservation efforts .