Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Santa Barbara, United States

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

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The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, briefly known as the Ty Warner Sea Center, is a museum owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and is located on Santa Barbara's Stearns Wharf. The Sea Center focuses on the marine life and the related conservation of the Santa Barbara Channel.

The Sea Center, first opened in 1986, was forced to close almost immediately owing to a fire under the Stearns Wharf pier on which it sits, and opened again a year later after repairs and more exhibits were added. Among the highlights of the original museum, and which still exist today, are a life-size model of a gray whale and her calf, aquaria, and static exhibits about marine life and ocean ecology. After many successful years, an opportunity became available to expand, adding building space, larger touch tanks, and new exhibits. The Center reopened in 2005 at a cost of $6.5 million. The expanded building's major donor at that time was businessman Ty Warner, also a local resident. Following a rebranding of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History in 2016, the Sea Center returned to its original name.




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