Many are looking forward to returning to a semblance of normal life now that more businesses are reopening. Of course, they will have to abide by the new safety standards set in place to help flatten the curb. And families can expect to see those changes at the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is scheduled to reopen this Sunday, June 14, 2020.
But face masks and social distancing aren’t the only new things that will be at the Aquarium of the Pacific. They have added a new Coral Reef exhibition.
After careful planning and discussions with the City of Long Beach, the Aquarium of the Pacific has announced it will be reopening to the public on Sunday, June 14, with special safety measures in place. The Aquarium will offer member preview days the Friday and Saturday prior. The Aquarium has been offering a variety of programs for people at home through its Online Academy during its closure due to COVID-19 and plans to continue to do so.
The Aquarium has made safety its top priority for its guests. Only a limited number of visitors will be admitted through a reservation ticketing system. They will also be managing the flow of traffic with a one-way foot traffic system throughout the facility. Guests will be required to go through a temperature check before admittance, and social distancing signs are installed throughout the Aquarium.
Hand sanitization stations will also be available for visitors and staff. Any touched surfaces will be continuously sanitized. Clear partitions have also been installed in key areas where staff interact with guests, such as the main entrance, member services, and retail spaces.
The Aquarium will be pausing shows and presentations, where large gatherings are likely to happen, to ensure social distancing. There will also be no re-entering during this phase of the reopening.
The Aquarium hopes that the coral reef exhibit will not only bring in visitors, but also provide education about their importance.
The global challenge of climate change is the main threat to coral reefs, but there is hope. “By ending overfishing and practicing sustainable coastal development in concert with other conservation efforts, we can buy time for coral reefs to rebound while we reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to slow and reverse the effects of climate change. Together, we can conserve coral reefs for generations to come,” said Dr. Sandy Trautwein, Aquarium of the Pacific vice president of animal husbandry.
Coral reefs are highly valuable to communities around the world. Besides serving as beautiful places to explore while snorkeling on a tropical vacation, coral reefs and the marine life they support serve many important uses for humans. Reefs help protect coastal communities by reducing the impact of storm surges. Healthy coral reefs support a diversity of marine life and are an important source of food for many nations, including the United States. They may also have uses that are yet to be discovered. Some corals and sponges contain compounds that may hold the cures for human diseases, yet 95 percent of the ocean, where these animals may be abundant, remains unexplored.
“On behalf of all of us at the Aquarium, we are very pleased to be able to welcome our members and visitors back. We have missed them and look forward to our community being able to enjoy the tranquility of our exhibits and to learn about our ocean planet. We are pleased to reopen with a new exhibition, Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities,” said Dr. Jerry Schubel, Aquarium of the Pacific president and CEO.
Anyone who wishes to visit during this time must make an online reservation. Members and those holding tickets or who want to redeem a coupon must still make a free reservation time. The Aquarium will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and will extend its hours Friday through Saturday to remain open until 9:00 p.m.