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Aquarium of the Pacific Welcomes Community Leaders and Philanthropists on World Ocean Day

Approximately 500 guests attended Bio Ball, an inaugural event created to attract new champions for the nonprofit Aquarium’s education and conservation initiatives

Aquarium CEO PK standing with donors and board members

Pictured left to right: Karen Lapizco; Corey Scott; Kristin Berry (immediately below Corey Scott); Claudine Book; William Berry; Leslie Williams; Dr. Peter Kareiva (Aquarium of the Pacific president & CEO); Samantha Attwood (Aquarium of the Pacific board member); James Attwood; Eileen Shim (immediately below James Attwood); Harrison Attwood Credit: Scott Smeltzer

June 12, 2024

June 12, 2024, Long Beach, CA—Community leaders and philanthropists gathered on World Ocean Day at the nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific’s inaugural Bio Ball event in Long Beach, California. The approximately 500 guests celebrated World Ocean Day with a more intimate opportunity to get up close and personal with the Aquarium’s staff and animals, along with being the first to see the Aquarium’s new film, Love & Life Beyond the Glass, before it debuts to the public later this summer.

The event also raised close to $300,000, mainly through sponsorship, to support the nonprofit organization’s greater purpose of conserving the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems, through its science-based educational programming and collaborative marine species conservation initiatives. However, that was not the event’s only intention. “Equally as important, the organization’s goal was to utilize this uniquely curated event to draw in new leaders and champions in the community that could be part of the Aquarium’s ambitious journey going forward,” said Ryan Ashton, Aquarium of the Pacific’s vice president of development.

Among the activities, the evening celebrated some of the Aquarium’s conservation programs with special experiences just for the Bio Ball guests. Shark egg ultrasounds were presented to show how the Aquarium’s work with shark artificial insemination is being developed to support the conservation of shark species. It was explained that ultrasounds are used to check for fertility and the progress of any of the artificial insemination projects.

Aquarium dive staff presented some of the equipment used in outplanting the endangered white abalone. Aquarists from the Aquarium participating in these projects use SCUBA for this conservation and monitoring project. SCUBA diving is an important tool Aquarium staff use in not only taking care of the habitats, but also out in the ocean.

The education department also shared the Aquarium on Wheels, a mobile truck with local tidepool animals such as sea anemones, sea stars, and baby sharks to touch. This unique program is sponsored by Marathon Los Angeles Refinery and connects schools and communities to our ocean backyard. Guests also had the chance to explore the Aquarium’s more than 100 exhibits, including FROGS: Facing a Changing World while learning about the organization’s work in helping endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs.

“The Bio Ball was held as an alternative to the Aquarium’s traditional Gala fundraiser, in a concerted effort to add new supporters necessary to elevate the organization’s mission,” said Ashton. The Aquarium gives special thanks to the inaugural Bio Ball’s presenting sponsors: Temple Family Charitable Foundation, U.S. Bank, Ed and Maryann Feo, and Esther S.M. Chui - Chao Giant Panda Management.