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Conservation & Research Initiatives

The Aquarium of the Pacific is much more than an Aquarium. It is a research institution dedicated to the conservation and research of threatened species and habitats.

Led by a strategic plan designed by the Board of Directors and Aquarium staff, the Aquarium is in a unique position to take a leading role in promoting environmental and ocean literacy.

Support current conservation programs today by contributing a tax-deductible gift which will fund…

Abalone Rearing and Breeding
Abalone Rearing and BreedingThe Aquarium of the Pacific is partnering with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the California Department of Fish and Game in efforts to improve abalone populations in Southern California as deemed necessary under the NMFS Final White Abalone Recovery Plan (2008). To support these efforts, the Aquarium is refining captive abalone rearing and cultivation techniques for red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), has completed a certification process that ensures our abalone facility is disease-free, and has created a multi-faceted education and outreach program to engage and inform our 1.4 million annual visitors and thousands of underserved students of the ecological and economic importance of these valuable marine invertebrates. This project ultimately lays the groundwork for the Aquarium to play an active role in abalone recovery, and take the lead in providing creative and effective educational programs focused on species conservation.
Kelp Restoration in Orange County, California
Kelp Restoration in Orange CountyGiant kelp forests are one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems in the world, and more than 800 species rely on them for food and shelter including many species of fishes, lobsters, abalone, sea urchins, and marine mammals. This project has managed by the Aquarium of the Pacific since 2007, with the goal of improving and sustaining Orange County’s near-shore coastal wildlife through the restoration and ongoing underwater monitoring of over 2 acres of historical kelp beds. Volunteer Aquarium divers conduct sea urchin relocation (a major predator of kelp) and underwater observations using the ReefCheck monitoring protocol to determine the presence and density of key species.
Micronesian Kingfisher Breeding and Education
Micronesian KingfisherThe Aquarium is currently working along with other zoos and aquariums to help restore the population of this highly endangered species, which is currently extinct in the wild. Only about 100 birds (housed in 17 different facilities) currently exist, which were rescued after populations in their native Guam were devastated by the non-native brown tree snake. The Aquarium is participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Survival Plan, and plans to build a habitat and educational exhibit to house a breeding pair of these birds, which will produce additional birds for eventual relocation into the wild.