Tucked beneath the historic Carousel on the lower level of the Santa Monica Pier, Heal the Bay Aquarium is a living exhibition promoting the conservation of Southern California coastal waters, watersheds, and marine life. The Aquarium features hands-on education, interaction, and discovery for kids, families, and anyone interested in marine life and conservation. Their sustainability practices and policies range from the building features to the staff practices, putting the health of people, animals, and the environment first.
- Green building: Eco-friendly materials and natural products are incorporated into Heal the Bay Aquarium's facility including local sand embedded in the new flooring to reduce the use of synthetic materials, recycled rubber carpet tiles, and repurposed office furniture. The façade of the aquarium's exhibit bases are made from recycled milk jugs!
- Zero-waste events: Reusable decorations and tableware are provided for all aquarium events and all leftover food waste is composted via the City of Santa Monica Resource Recovery & Recycling Division
- Non-toxic policy: Chlorine and triclosan-free cleaning chemicals are used facility-wide to ensure healthy indoor air for humans and surrounding marine life.
- Energy-efficient lighting: All lights have been converted to energy-efficient LEDs.
In addition to implementing green practices, the aquarium exhibits model sustainable practices for others to learn from and follow. For example, the Aquaponics Exhibit shows how fish, water, and edible vegetable plants can work symbiotically to feed fish, filter water, and provide food for humans to eat using 90% less water than traditional farming methods. Heal the Bay Aquarium is undergoing renovations to include more water-saving upgrades, a water bottle refilling station, and an outdoor patio expansion featuring an aquarium retail store selling eco-conscious items to the public.