Explore the amazing kelp forest off La Jolla's coast without leaving your home or office. Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, announces a new, live high-definition web cam featuring the aquarium's two-story kelp forest tank.
With a diver's-eye view, discover leopard sharks, garibaldi, eels, barracuda, giant sea bass and more within the 70,000-gallon tank. De-stress to the swaying of towering kelp. Tune in during our dive shows to watch divers feed the animals and discuss the kelp forest's crucial role in the health of the ocean.
Kelp forests are considered one of the most diverse and dynamic ecosystems on Earth, supporting thousands of species. Birch Aquarium's kelp forest - one of only a handful displayed at public science centers worldwide - features more than 175 fish and invertebrates, representing 35 species. Keep an eye out for the 225-pound, 25-year-old giant sea bass as well as three species of sharks and the fiery-orange garibaldi, California's state marine fish.
Kelp Tank Facts
· Giant kelp is one of the world's fastest growing plants and can reach as high as 300 feet in a single year.
· We use kelp every day in items such as toothpaste, chocolate milk, shaving cream and beer.
· The acrylic used in Birch Aquarium's kelp forest tank is 10 inches thick, and the window consists of two large pieces fused together.
· A special wave machine keeps Birch Aquarium's kelp forest tank in constant motion so the kelp can absorb enough nutrients to grow and thrive.
· The kelp forest tank requires weekly underwater grooming by divers who trim the plants, vacuum up waste and rake the sand.
About Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, earth and ocean science. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 415,000, including 45,000 school children.