Monterey Bay Aquarium Teams With Regional Libraries to Offer Free Admission for Low-Income Families
The Monterey Bay Aquarium and local libraries are teaming up to offer free aquarium admission to low-income families in Monterey County and the Pajaro Valley through a revamped “Shelf to Shore” program.
Individuals and families who qualify for Free School Lunch, WIC, SNAP, Meals on Wheels, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, or similar social services can request one aquarium Shelf to Shore pass each year at most community libraries in Monterey County and in Watsonville. Each pass admits up to six family members for a one-time visit.
The program begins on Monday, September 10 and is expected to serve more than 30,000 low-income residents each year.
The nonprofit aquarium admits more than a quarter million adults and children free of charge each year, including more than 100,000 students, teachers and chaperones for free education programs; more than 10,000 clients of social service organizations that serve special-needs populations; and around 30,000 Monterey County residents during nine free Community Days each December.
“We want to give everyone in our community the opportunity to visit the aquarium each year, because conservation of the oceans is everyone’s responsibility,” said Public Affairs Director Barbara Meister. “For some families, free admission makes all the difference. For many others, an aquarium membership is the way to go, because it includes unlimited family admission for a year. And membership supports our conservation work, free education programs and the many free access programs that serve lower income members of our community.”
Shelf to Shore passes are available at: Monterey County Free Libraries branches (in Aromas, Big Sur, Bradley, Buena Vista, Carmel Valley, Castroville, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Pajaro, Parkfield, Prunedale, San Ardo, San Lucas, Seaside and Soledad; and bookmobiles in North County and South County); Salinas city library branches (Cesar Chavez, El Gabilan and John Steinbeck); and Watsonville public library branches in Freedom and Watsonville.
In communities whose libraries do not offer Shelf to Shore passes, Meister said she is working with social service organizations that serve low-income adults and families to provide free aquarium admission.
The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.
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