Aquarium of the Pacific logo used with permission.

Aquarium of the Pacific events in September include Night Dive, the Moompetam American Indian Festival, and First Wednesdays

Wednesday, September 1, 2021
First Wednesdays Lecture with Environmental Writer Emma Marris
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

As society has taken a more progressive stance toward animal welfare over recent decades, many people are questioning the purpose of zoos and aquariums. In an op-ed published in the New York Times in June, environmental writer Emma Marris contends that modern zoos should find a new path—ending the practice of breeding animals for display and focus on conservation breeding programs and perhaps acting as sanctuaries for animals that cannot live in the wild. She argues that the evidence showing that visiting zoos and aquariums inspires people to actively support conservation efforts is weak at best. Those who work in the zoo and aquarium world say this does not paint the full picture. So why is the Aquarium of the Pacific inviting Marris to come and speak? Aquarium President and CEO Dr. Peter Kareiva believes listening to and having a conversation with Marris and others with different views helps zoos and aquariums improve, evolve, and better communicate the importance of their mission and values. Marris will present a lecture at the Aquarium and discuss her book, Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World. Wild Souls examines several questions surrounding animal welfare and conservation science. When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? How do we balance the rights of introduced species with those already established within an ecosystem? Can hunting be ecological? Are any animals truly wild on a planet that humans have so thoroughly changed? After her talk, she will participate in a discussion led by Dr. Kareiva that will further explore the role zoos and aquariums serve in connecting people with nature. It will allow both sides of the issue to exchange views and perhaps evolve their beliefs. There will be an opportunity for members of the audience to ask questions and participate. A book signing and cocktail/social hour will follow the presentation.

Sponsor: Courtyard Long Beach Downtown
Cost: The lecture is FREE. Advance reservations required to reserve your seat in the theater.
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, Ocean Theater, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 90802 / Presentation will be live streamed at:
Info/Tickets: (562) 590-3100 or

Saturday, September 4, 2021
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Los Cerritos Wetlands Habitat Restoration

The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts a monthly habitat restoration event at the Los Cerritos Wetlands. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship Program is working to restore 66 acres of wetlands owned by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority. The program’s ongoing restorative activities have included removing non-native plants, planting native plants, collecting seeds from rare plants for later use, and collecting trash. These events are led by trained naturalists and local educators, offering an opportunity for people to learn more about the Los Cerritos Wetlands, while getting hands-on involvement with the restoration. Everyone is welcome to participate. Children under age 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Closed-toe shoes are required. Hat and sunscreen are recommended. Drinking water will be provided, but this is a plastic water bottle-free event. Please bring a reusable water bottle.

Cost: Free. No registration required.
Meeting Place: Participants will be greeted by Los Cerritos Wetlands staff at the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and 1st. Street in Seal Beach. Arriving around 10:15 a.m. is recommended.
Info: [email protected] 

Saturdays, September 4 and 18, 2021
10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Underwater Artists (virtual program)

An Aquarium educator will guide young artists in creating art in steps by making and sharing observations of their ocean animal art subject during this virtual class. The theme for September 4 is coral reefs and the theme for September 18 is whales. Using live animal webcams and dynamic media, participants will discover animal facts, explore ocean science, and apply what they learn. Participants should make sure they have art supplies ready. It is suggested participants use the medium they are most comfortable with (crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, etc.). The virtual connection will be hosted on Zoom and participants may be able to hear or see other families who are participating in the program. The Aquarium asks that child participants be supervised by an adult during the program.

Cost: $10 per household
Info: (562) 590-3100 or

Saturday, September 11, 2021
First Responders Day
9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Firefighters, doctors, nurses, EMS employees, and certain law enforcement personnel receive free admission on September 11. Contact your union or association to purchase discounted tickets for friends and family members before coming to the Aquarium. Active personnel should present their employee ID or professional organization membership card at the Aquarium. Advance reservations required for everyone.

Cost: FREE for fire, medical, EMS, and police personnel with valid ID. General Admission–$36.95 adult (12+), $33.95 senior (62+), $26.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age 3 and Aquarium members
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Info/Tickets: (562) 590-3100 or

Friday, September 17, 2021
Night Dive
7:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m.

Night Dive is an event for adults-only (18+) with local bands performing right next to the fish, DJs spinning, works of art, cocktails and drinks, and food trucks on the front plaza. Advance reservations are required.

Cost: $24.95 per person, $19.95 per Aquarium member, food and drink sold separately.
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Info/Tickets: (562) 590-3100 or

Saturday, September 18, 2020
California Coastal Clean-Up Day
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

You can join the Aquarium of the Pacific in cleaning up Long Beach as part of the statewide Coastal Clean-Up Day. The public is invited to help Aquarium staff clean the beach located at Ocean Blvd. and 72nd place. Help protect our ocean and marine life by picking up trash. Gloves, bags, and a spirit of camaraderie will be provided. Please look for the Aquarium booth to check in and receive your cleaning supplies. No RSVP necessary.

Cost: FREE
Location: The Peninsula and lot at Ocean and 72nd place
Info: 562-590-3100, ext. 0; 1-800-COAST-4U (1-800-262-7848); or

Saturday and Sunday, September 18-19, 2021
Moompetam: American Indian Festival
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

In celebration of the local American Indian cultures, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its seventeenth annual Moompetam Festival. This celebration will feature traditional cultural crafts demonstrations, storytelling, music, and dance celebrating the indigenous California maritime cultures, including Tongva, Chumash, Acjachemen, Costanoan, Luiseno, and Kumeyaay. Advance reservations required for everyone.   

Cost: General Admission–$36.95 adult (12+), $33.95 senior (62+), $26.95 child (3-11), and free for children under age 3 and Aquarium members
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Info/Tickets: (562) 590-3100 or
Sponsor: Courtyard Long Beach Downtown

**Please note: prices, events, and safety protocols are subject to change. Please visit for the latest information.

This article was released by the Aquarium of the Pacific.