Visitors to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach not only enjoy a vicarious journey into the bottom of the sea during their visit but they get more in terms of being given the opportunity to discover that beneath the surface lurks a breath-taking milieu that they can only discover because they’ve been afforded the opportunity without getting wet.
The late Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water shared the beauty of his underwater discoveries to his followers for many years and from the confines of many living showed in vivid color the wondrous creations beneath the waves.
The beauty underneath the waves belongs to humanity and must be enjoyed by all. Exploring the sea per se is an expensive proposition but thanks to committed people behind the Aquarium of the Pacific, which formerly was known as Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, for letting people enjoy the experience of being awed by the splendor and color of the ocean.
The weekend of Veterans Day at the Aquarium was a punctuated experience to hundreds for the who were part of the 13th Annual Autumn Festival which “highlighted the traditions and cultures of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines”.
The “learning weekend” had families with members of all ages enjoy the two-day event soaked with family-centered activities and savored the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Asian and Asian American cultures”.
The Festival was a “getting to know you more” occasion for the participating Asian countries with features that included traditional crafts, music, dance, demonstrations, cultural arts exhibits, ethnic cuisine, storytelling, and much more which probably more than anyone could handle in such a short visit.
The richness and color of Philippines culture was featured on the first day of the event with presentations courtesy of the Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts performing group who afforded the Saturday audience a glimpse of our heritage.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is situated on a 5-acre land area and attracts more than 1.5 million visitors annually. Reports have it that the Aquarium is manned by over 900 people who include more than 300 employees and some 650 volunteers.
As a non-profit group, the Aquarium is committed to “instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems.”
The Aquarium features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species in exhibits ranging in size and capacity from about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons, according to a report.
The exhibits introduce the inhabitants and seascapes of the Pacific, while also focusing on specific conservation messages associated with each region in three permanent galleries – Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.
Construction of the Aquarium was completed on June 20, 1998 when the Aquarium opened to the public.