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Heal the Bay Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (File photo)

SM PIER — The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium will celebrate its 10-year anniversary with Heal the Bay this weekend.

The three-day celebration which kicks off March 1 will include birthday-themed festivities for all ages, including cake and ice cream, face painting, crafts, and guest readings by Santa Monica Councilmember Terry O’Day and actor/environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr.

Matthew King, communications director for Heal the Bay, is looking for the event to be fun and to showcase the creatures that live in the aquarium.

“The focus was on celebrating the animals that make it all possible,” he said.

Randi Parent, outreach manager for the aquarium, sees the facility as a “community resource for learning more about the marine environment.”

King shares Parent’s sentiment.

“It’s a fantastic way for people to see all the animal life that lives underneath the Santa Monica Bay,” he said.

King also feels that the aquarium’s impact extends further than the ability to learn about local marine life.

“[The aquarium is] a great symbol of our city; a great symbol of how we care about our environment and our natural resources,” King said. “[It’s a] cultural resource for the city.”

Since Heal the Bay took over ownership of the aquarium from UCLA in March of 2003, they have made strides to make it more available to the Santa Monica community by extending the hours it is open to the public, upgrading and adding new exhibits, Parent said.

“We’re proud of the past 10 years,” King said. “We value being a part of Santa Monica.”

The pier aquarium is located at 1600 Ocean Front Walk and is open Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the anniversary celebration, visit healthebay.org.




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