Filming Guidelines

Birch Aquarium at Scripps considers requests for commercial filming, including, but not limited to movies, television shows, music videos, commercials, promotional video and advertisements. Please review these Filming Guidelines. Our contact information is below.

Filming Sites

  • More than 60 marine tanks, including a 70,000-gallon kelp forest
  • Outdoor tide-pool plaza with coastal and ocean views
  • Interactive ocean and earth sciences museum
  • Gift shop with educational materials and gifts
  • Interior galleria with glass windows and ocean views
  • Exterior balcony overlooking the tide-pool plaza and the coast
  • Two-lane road descending to the aquarium that provides breathtaking views of natural landscapes and the ocean (Additional approvals are required for road use.)

Location Fees

Fees depend upon a number of factors, including the nature of the project, the intended market, the promotional value to the aquarium, and the potential disruption to the aquarium and its staff.

Standard fee: $3,500 permit plus $2,500 minimum location fee.
Additional fees for staff time, parking, and/or damage may apply


  • Content must not conflict with the mission of Birch Aquarium at Scripps: to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation.
  • Filming may not be possible at Birch Aquarium at Scripps during open hours (9-5 daily) if the project could inhibit or impede with our visitors' experience.
  • All filming must meet with the requirements of the animal husbandry staff.
  • As a general rule, Birch Aquarium does not allow non-diving staff inside the tanks. Exceptions can be made with approval from the animal husbandry staff and dive safety officer.
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps prohibits amplified sound.
  • The aquarium prohibits the use of lights outdoors and prohibits excessive interior and exterior noise after 10 p.m.
  • The aquarium does not allow anything to be attached to interior walls, tanks, or exhibits
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps reserves the right to cancel filming at any time.

Filming with Drones & Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

The use of all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on UC San Diego owned property, including Birch Aquarium and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and/or for official UC San Diego business must be reviewed and approved by the Department of Environment Health &Safety (EH&S) prior to flight. All drone/UAS use must also be approved by Birch Aquarium's Marketing Department. Learn more. 


  • At least one-week notice to the Birch Aquarium Marketing Department is required for any on-site filming project request.
  • Production company representative must sign Scripps Oceanography liability release form before filming can begin.
  • Production company must provide copy of insurance coverage form before filming can begin.
  • Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Not all requests are granted.


  • Check for full payment payable to U.C. Regents must be provided to the Birch Aquarium Marketing Department prior to filming.

Business Hours

Birch Aquarium at Scripps: Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day


Primary Contact
Beth Chee
Director of Marketing, Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Phone: 858-534-8555

Alternate Contact
Scripps Communications Office
Phone: 858-534-3624