Open Sea

Since the Aquarium opened its doors on Cannery Row 30 years ago, it has played a central role in the vitality of the Monterey Bay community. The Aquarium has become an internationally recognized visitor destination and a leading nonprofit organization known for innovation and community impact.


Beyond our core mission to inspire conservation of the oceans, we're collaborating with people and organizations within the region with the shared goal of helping our community thrive.

Economic Impacts

Drawing 1.8 million visitors each year, the Aquarium makes a major, measurable contribution to the local economy. Our visitors travel to Monterey from throughout California, the U.S. and even the world—generating income locally when they stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, visit other attractions, and purchase gifts, souvenirs and services from local businesses. As a key employer on the Peninsula, we are also a mainstay of Monterey County's job base.

Social Impacts

The nonprofit Aquarium's deep community involvement takes many different forms. Each furthers our mission of inspiring ocean conservation, and contributes to the social well-being of people in the greater Monterey Bay region. We support local schools by hosting field trips and hands-on learning experiences for students, as well as by offering professional development opportunities and classroom resources for teachers. We provide mentoring programs to involve high school youth in marine science and conservation. We are strongly committed to keeping the Aquarium accessible to all—regardless of income bracket, education level, disability or other potential barrier—in part by providing complimentary admission to underserved people in our area.

Download the Community Impacts Report (PDF)