Explore Our History
The Aquarium exhibit program will offer visitors a firsthand look into the habitats of Monterey Bay.
The Aquarium's first exhibit for public display, a rock, is towed out in the bay and sunk. The plan was to retrieve it in three years covered with a beautiful carpet of colorful animals to put on display in our Kelp Forest exhibit.
Exhibit Program Takes Shape
Fall 1981The new aquarium represents a major change in design, with more large exhibits than are found in most aquariums. They include a three-story Kelp Forest exhibit, a sea otter exhibit, and a 90-foot-long Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit. Over 100 smaller exhibit tanks will also display Monterey Bay marine life. The layout will allow visitors opportunities to explore the exhibits according to their own inclinations rather than following a prescribed path.
A Rocky StartSeveral large artificial rocks, one the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, are sunk off Carmel and will be retrieved in three years covered with invertebrates, algae, sponges and corals to be used as realistic backdrops in the large exhibits. Some of the rocks submerged are never recoveredthey either were moved by wave motion, or so well covered with life they couldn't be distinguished from the real ones around them.