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Laysan albatross at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

What's New

New Seabirds, New Stories

Red-footed booby at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Aquarium has some new feathered friends to share—Alika and Sula—two seabirds we've welcomed into our rescued flock. Alika is a young Laysan albatross and Sula, a red-footed booby.

Alika, just over a year old, joins Makana, 11, as the second Laysan albatross at an accredited zoo or aquarium in the United States. Alika's name means "protector" or "guardian" in Hawaiian and, like Makana, she was injured as a chick and unable to survive in the wild.

Sula, whose age is unknown, was injured by a fishing hook and was also unable to survive on her own. Her name reflects the scientific name of the red-footed booby, Sula sula.

As their training progresses and they become more comfortable around people, we hope that Alika and Sula will, like Makana, take part in public programs and interact with guests. To prepare them, Aviculture staff take the birds on periodic trips inside and outside Aquarium galleries before hours.

In the meantime, you might see our newest seabirds and Makana in their rooftop aviary during behind-the-scenes tours.
The new seabirds are settling in well, says Curator of Aviculture Aimee Greenebaum.
"Alika and Makana can often be seen hanging out together and sleeping by each other," Aimee says. "Sula is a very curious and playful bird."
Makana has thrived during her decade-plus stay at the Aquarium, in large part because our Aviculture team has provided her with a wide range of enrichment experiences. We'll do the same for Alika and Sula.
Makana has also become a superstar ambassador for seabirds and other marine life facing grave threats from ocean plastic pollution. Her daily program helps us share with visitors what's at stake from this growing threat. We hope that Alika can step into this program in the future, swapping appearances with Makana.
Sula was rescued near San Diego with injuries caused by swallowing a fishing hook, and nursed back to health by staff at SeaWorld San Diego. But after several release attempts it was determined that she also couldn't be returned to the wild.
Her backstory is an example of how another ocean pollution problem, forgotten fishing gear, can harm seabirds and other marine wildlife.
Your support as members helps us re-home injured wildlife like Alika and Sula. Thank you.

More What's New

Red Lobster joins Seafood Watch

Red Lobster Partners with Seafood Watch

Our work to shift global fishing and aquaculture in more sustainable directions has earned us an important new business partner and significant national recognition.

Red Lobster, the world's largest seafood restaurant chain, became an official Seafood Watch partner in May, pledging to serve only Seafood Watch-recommended seafood by 2025 at more than 700 restaurants worldwide.

The impact of our work was also recognized in June when Executive Director Julie Packard was named one of 10 American Food Heroes by EatingWell magazine.

It recognized Julie for the "wildly successful Seafood Watch program" and the global impact of our work to advance sustainable seafood, including our newest initiative helping major seafood buyers address the risk of slavery and other labor abuses in supply chains.

"I'm so honored that EatingWell recognized our work to address sustainability and slavery," Julie says. "We couldn't do it without the support of our members and donors."
Red Lobster joins a growing number of companies that emphasize sustainability and socially conscious sourcing.
"We applaud Red Lobster for its commitment," Julie says. "It sends a strong signal to the marketplace. Fishing fleets and aquaculture producers will be rewarded for adopting practices that support healthy ocean ecosystems. Ultimately, that will mean better choices for everyone who enjoys seafood."
Kim Lopdrup, CEO of Red Lobster, says, "Because of our size and scale, we can use our influence to drive positive change in the industry and lead the way in sustainable and responsible seafood sourcing. Red Lobster is committed to taking a leadership position in conserving and protecting every kind of seafood we source. Our partnership with Seafood Watch is the natural next step in keeping these commitments."

Kelp Forest app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Dive into a Kelp Forest—Digitally!

Thanks to our Education team's imagination, kids, parents and teachers can now explore a virtual kelp forest with our interactive game, The Kelp Forest: My Aquarium, and related interactive ebook, The Kelp Forest: A Young Explorer's Guide.

Both offer engaging and educational features geared for children eight to 11 years old, but are fun for all ages:

  • Discover the kelp forest ecosystem and ocean animals that call it home.
  • Learn more about our Kelp Forest exhibit and the people who help it thrive.
  • Create your own digital kelp forest and practice being a "Kelp Forest Bodyguard."
"The ebook and game are totally different from all of the other educational curriculum we offer," says Joey Scott, senior education specialist of our teacher programs. "Both can help teachers make their kelp forest lessons more interesting, and extend student learning into the home."
The free, interactive apps have earned rave reviews, Joey says. That's encouraging, as we hope to broaden our digital curriculum offerings in the future—especially as part of the expanded programs at our new Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership, which will welcome its first students in 2019.
Joey says her team chose the kelp forest for the first digital project because of our expertise with that ecosystem. We're the first in the world to exhibit a living kelp forest, and one of our teacher institutes has a strong emphasis on the kelp forest. The apps integrate well into that program.
The educational concepts in the ebook and game are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards and Ocean Literacy Principles. The apps, created in collaboration with GameCloud Studios, are available free on the App Store and Google Play.