Here in Monterey, California we are lucky to be surrounded by natural beauty on all sides. Historically this community has tried to balance its bountiful resources with human consumption. Well, you win some and you loose some. In the late 1940s when the sardines left Monterey the canneries began to leave as well. Monterey became a ghost town and fire threatened the decaying canneries. Through the 1960s many cannery buildings burnt to the ground, bringing the once vibrant and bustling Ocean View Avenue to a somber state. It was the end of an era on Cannery Row and the beginning of a new one.
Enter The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Since opening its doors in 1984, the aqaurium has made huge strides by making Cannery Row and the Monterey Peninsula a destination town for tourists, and a powerful vehicle to educate and inspire the entire world about ocean conservation. Over the last 25 years the aquarium has welcomed more than 46 million visitors, and distributed over 32 million Seafood Watch guides on sustainable seafood.
As an ocean conservation leader, the aquarium is deeply involved in cutting-edge research – and advocacy – to protect sea otters, tunas, white sharks and other threatened ocean animals. As far as our beloved sea otters are concerned, the Monterey Bay Aqaurium has raised interest, passion, and intrigue for the species with its wonderful and very popular sea otter exhibit and otter cam. Their top-notch sea otter research team (SORAC) has provided us with volumes of information abouth this important keystone species.
Aquarium exhibits have also helped to inspire creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – the largest national marine sanctuary in the continental United States – and the aquarium actively supports creation of the largest network of marine protected areas in the U.S., along the California coast.
We are proud to have such a place in our community, in our world. For sure we know sea otters are appreciative!
Here’s to at least 25 more!