Southern California/Baja Gallery

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Visit our impressive 142,000-gallon, three-story high, Blue Cavern exhibit

Southern California/Baja Gallery

Representing a Diverse Marine Environment in 18 Exhibits

Extending 800 miles from Oregon to Mexico, California’s coastal waters include a variety of ecosystems, animals, and temperatures. Beyond the most southwestern point of the United States, extending along the coast of Mexico to the Sea of Cortez, is the Baja Peninsula.

The Baja coast includes warm bays and lagoons, mangrove forests, and giant kelp forests. Because of the diversity of habitats found along the coast, a large variety of species are found within California and Baja California waters, many of which are featured in the Aquarium’s Southern California/Baja Gallery.

The Southern California/Baja Gallery represents this diverse marine environment in 18 exhibits. At the entrance of the gallery is the impressive Honda Blue Cavern. This 142,000-gallon, three-story high exhibit stands at the end of the Aquarium’s Great Hall of the Pacific and features ocean inhabitants found off the coast of Catalina Island. Entering the gallery, one is greeted by the Amber Forest. Featuring a beautiful bed of giant swaying kelp, this exhibit offers a glimpse of the colorful garibaldi (California’s state fish), giant spined sea stars, California scorpionfish, and many other examples of local Southern California ocean life.

Also in the Southern California/Baja Gallery is the 211,000 gallon Seal and Sea Lion Habitat. The Aquarium’s Gulf of California exhibit features some of the variety of one of the most biologically productive and diverse seas in the world. It includes unique species of butterflyfishes, and large silvery fish called Mexican lookdowns. Guests may also enjoy the Ray Touch Pool, and Shorebird Sanctuary, and Wetlands exhibits, and many more in this rich gallery highlighting Southern California’s coastline.

Southern California/Baja Gallery

Gulf of California

Gulf of California buttonLink

Highlighting the Region's Fishes, Geological Formation and It's Stories

The Gulf of California is one of the world’s most biologically productive and diverse seas. Described by Jacques Cousteau as the world’s aquarium, the Gulf of California is home to many unique species, including the endangered vaquita (the world’s smallest porpoise) and the totoaba fish.

Shorebird Sanctuary

Shorebird Sanctuary buttonLink

Highlighting the Beauty of the Flora and Fauna of our Wetlands

The Shorebird Sanctuary exhibit is a home for birds, fishes, and native plants. Designed to resemble a wetland such as the Bolsa Chica State Marine Conservation Area, the exhibit features several microecosystems and shelters four species of shorebirds plus a diving duck.

Webcam: Honda Blue Cavern

Webcam: Honda Blue Cavern buttonLink

Modeled after Blue Cavern Point, a kelp forest along the northeastern coast of Santa Catalina Island.

This exhibit represents the underwater habitat you would find along our coast and around local islands.