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Pacific Seas Aquarium

Opening Friday Sept. 7

Opening Sept. 7, 2018, the new Pacific Seas Aquarium is an underwater delight. Stare at hammerhead sharks or gaze at green sea turtles in Pacific Coast habitats from cold Northwest to tropical Baja California.

But it takes a community to build an aquarium. While much of the $51.6 million budget is coming from a voter-approved Tacoma tax bond, The Zoo Society is working to raise $4.2 million to close the gap. Help us build this jewel for our city.

Discover the Pacific Seas

Grand opening weekend
Gaze in awe. Sept. 7-9.
Come see our new aquarium! This is your chance to see what we've spent years dreaming and building. Open 9:30am - 6:30 pm each day and free with Zoo admission.
Buy Zoo tickets
Member previews
It's party time!
Member Days September 4-5 - Get a sneak peek of the new aquarium before it opens to the public. 9:30 am-7:30 pm. More details coming soon.
Become a member
Wander down
in an ocean of discovery
Wander down the ramps - perfect for strollers and wheelchairs - to discover jellies, spider crabs, giant Pacific octopus and inspiring art - then explore how to help the ocean in the Waves of Change gallery.

Explore Habitats

Baja Bay
Northwest Waters
Spider Crabs
Tidal Touch Zone
Coastal Kelp Forest
Giant Pacific octopus
Under the Narrows
Tidal Surge
Aquarists care
It takes dedication to be an aquarist, as well as training and time.
Our aquarists spend hundreds of hours getting to know our animals.
Feeding sharks
Using objects the animals have been trained to recognize, each gets its own portion.
It can take awhile! But the aquarists work patiently until everyone is satisfied.
Water is life
Water in the aquarium is pumped straight up from Puget Sound, filtered and warmed through a complex web of pipes.
After it washes nutrients over our animals, it’s treated and flows back into the Sound – no pollution, no waste.

Protecting the Ocean

It takes all of us.

THE THREAT: Our oceans are beautiful – but they face many threats, from plastic pollution to chemicals, oil, overfishing and acidification. Many of the animals in our aquarium are threatened in the wild.

TAKE ACTION: But we can help – the ocean is in our hands. Find out what you can do by visiting the Waves of Change gallery inside the aquarium, or exploring our Protecting Wildlife pages.

Aquarium Stories

Kait’s Vision of Glass Jellyfish

In Kait Rhoads’ Seattle studio, four people are making a jellyfish. Focusing intently, they thread glass circles onto long steel tentacles, weaving copper wire in and out to keep the circles in place. Even with light floating through the big windows and art and plants everywhere, it’s a tedious job. But the atmosphere’s upbeat. Rhoads’ … Continued

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Neil Allen: Deep Ocean Knowledge

Through four years of dreaming, mentoring staff, caring for animals and watching a building rise, Neil Allen has kept one vision in sight for the Pacific Seas Aquarium, coming late summer to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. “There’s nothing like seeing little kids running up, pressing their noses against the glass and saying, ‘Wow,’ ” … Continued

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Turtles Pass Their First Physical

Sunny and Azul, the green sea turtles waiting patiently for their new home in the aquarium’s Baja Bay exhibit, passed their first physical wellness exam this month with flying colors – and got a treat as a reward for being good patients. Watch the video here.

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Party with turtles
Imagine your wedding, complete with dreamy sea turtles. Or a party with hammerhead sharks. The Pacific Seas Aquarium isn't just the perfect event space - it's totally unique.