Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Aquarium Features New Endangered Species Exhibit||
When one lives in a city as breathtakingly beautiful and unique as Santa Monica, inevitably that city will be shared with visitors.
By Daniel Larios
June 3, 2014 – The tidewater goby, a member of the endangered species list, will make the Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium its home on Friday, giving visitors a chance to glimpse the rare fish and learn more about conservation efforts.
The fish are to become the centerpiece of the recently installed watershed exhibit in the Aquarium’s Dorothy Green Room. The Aquarium is one of just two public aquariums to receive permission to exhibit the tidewater goby, a tiny fish only found in the streams and estuaries of California.
Partnering with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, Heal the Bay’s marine science center recently obtained the gobies from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s toxicology department in Carmel.
“This diminutive fish, rarely longer than two inches in length, is silver and brown with a sleek shape,” said the Aquarium’s outreach manager Randi Parent.
“The goby’s fins are distinctively long and flowing for the size of its body, and its tiny eyes protrude prominently – all features that give the goby more presence than expected for such a small fish.”
The tidewater goby, whose scientific name is Eucyclogobius newberryi, is listed as an endangered species and serves as a poster child for threatened waterways.
Gobies are losing their habitat due to coastal development and diversions and modifications to the streams and estuaries, officials said.
The Aquarium’s Watershed Exhibit demonstrates the perils of urban development on waterways and on the animals that inhabit them – particularly the tidewater goby, according to officials.
Debuting on Friday, an exhibit of gobies will be featured in the natural watershed component of the exhibit, alongside displays featuring other riparian and estuarine organisms.
Redesign funds for the Dorothy Green Room and the watershed exhibit were provided by an Annenberg Foundation grant and funds from Proposition 84, a state storm water grant program.
Visitors can see the tidewater gobies and the more than 100 other species of local marine life at the Aquarium Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. and weekends from 12:30 to 5 p.m. In July and August, the Aquarium remains open until 6 p.m.
Kids 12 and under are admitted free; for all others, admission is $5 per person or $3 per person for groups of 10 or more, regardless of age.
For more information, call (310) 393-6149 or visit www.healthebay.org/santa-monica-pier-aquarium.
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