Explore Our History
A dream fulfilled: Founders Lucile and David Packard flank Executive Director Julie Packard on opening day, October 20, 1984.
David Packard helped create exhibits at his forge in Big Sur.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation Created
April 1978A group of marine scientists, local residents and members of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation of Los Altos, California, form the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation to pursue the project. Initial construction costs, which ultimately total $55 million, are provided through a one-time personal gift from David and Lucile Packard, with the intention that the nonprofit Aquarium should be self-sustaining when open to the public in 1984.
Founders Take an Active Role from Day OneFrom the beginning, David and Lucile Packard are active supporters and participants in the Aquarium's design, construction and operation. Lucile selects many of the building's interior finishes, from the Mozambique quartzite tiles on the floor to colors of certain walls. David has a hand in designing and building the Kelp Forest exhibit and Sandy Shore Aviary wave machines, and personally casts the brass sea otter knobs on the macrovideo exhibit, as well as the brass caps on the bollards lining the street in front of the Aquarium.