Residents of San Francisco with an interest in river otters, or just cute animals, will be happy to know that an exhibit is coming to the Aquarium of the Bay.
The exhibit will open this summer. The aquarium says it will serve as an education and conservation resource and will provide an opportunity for guests to understand environmental changes. Here’s a brief description:
With design efforts led by EHDD, the approximately 1,000-square-foot exhibit will extend from the Aquarium’s Touch the Bay exhibit, taking over the Farallon Room which was previously used for events and classroom programs, and provide sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. A six-foot tall living wall adorned with live plants will act as a unique backdrop to this $1.3 million expansion. The modern, gallery-like exhibit will feature deep and shallow pools for the otters to cavort in, plus plenty of dry land and living foliage to explore and a small waterfall to play on. They will share the exhibit with live fishes and crawfish. Enclosed in nine-foot tall glass walls, visitors will experience an almost 360-degree view of the exhibit.
“This whole exhibit is about connecting people to the upper watershed,” says John Frawley, President and CEO of Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute. “River otters are the perfect animal to demonstrate the importance of the watershed. They’re charismatic and fun to watch, and they simultaneously create an opportunity for us to speak to our lifelong learners about the critical needs of our ecosystem.”
The exhibit will be the first of a two-part expansion plan for the Aquarium. The second phase involves including new classrooms, which will be called “Watershed Discovery Labs.”