Banquet and Exhibits

The conference banquet, an informal buffet dinner, will be held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday, September 27 from 7–10 pm. The Aquarium is exclusively reserved for conference attendees and their guests and has over 200 galleries and exhibits with more than 35,000 animals and plants that will be all ours for one spectacular evening. The aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world's richest marine regions.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium (or MBA, founded 1984) is located on the former site of a sardine cannery on Cannery Row of the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Monterey, California. It has an annual attendance of 1.8 million visitors. It holds thousands of plants and animals, representing 623 separate named species on display. The aquarium benefits from a high circulation of fresh ocean water, which is obtained through pipes that pump it in continuously from Monterey Bay.

Among the aquarium's numerous exhibits, two are of particular note: The centerpiece of the Ocean's Edge Wing is a 10-meter (33-foot) high, 1.3 million liter (1/3 million gallon) tank for viewing California coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp using a wave machine at the top of the tank (water movement is a necessary precondition for keeping Giant Kelp, which absorbs nutrients from surrounding water and requires turbidity), allowing sunlight in through the open tank top, and circulation of raw seawater from the Bay. The second exhibit of note is a 4.5 million liter (1.2 million gallon) tank in the Outer Bay Wing, which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows (crafted by a Japanese company, the acrylic window is actually five panes seamlessly glued together through a proprietary process).

Sea life on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. For displaying jellyfish, the MBA uses an aquarium called a Kreisel tank, which creates a circular flow to support and suspend the jellies. Visitors are able to inspect the creatures of the kelp forest at several levels in the building. The aquarium does not house mammals other than otters.


Dining at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Dining at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Monterey Bay Aquarium Kelp Forest Kelp Forest Jellyfish Jellyfish Sealion Sealions