Birch Aquarium Update on Coronavirus

Birch Aquarium is Closed to the Public 

The temporary closure is an effort to help stop the communal spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

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Updated: March 12, 2020
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego today announced that it will temporarily be closed to the public beginning Thursday, March 12 at 5 p.m. until further notice. 

The decision comes following the statewide recommendations to ban gatherings larger than 250 to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and UC San Diego’s announcement recommendations to cancel or postpone large meetings and non-essential visits to campus by groups. 

“It’s our responsibility to consider the health and wellbeing of  our guests, staff, and volunteers, and the broader community. By temporarily closing our doors, we are doing our part to proactively take steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” said Executive Director Harry Helling. “We believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community, which at this time, calls for us to minimize gatherings.”

In addition to closing to the public, Birch Aquarium is also cancelling all special events, school visits, and outreach activities. Staff will continue working to ensure the behind-the-scenes operations of the aquarium, especially the care of the more than 6,000 animals that call the aquarium home. 

Aquarium leadership will continue to follow guidance from the university and will look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and San Diego County Public Health for continued guidance. 

All UC San Diego campus-wide updates are being maintained at The leadership team will monitor the situations and hopes to open back up to the public as soon as possible. 

If you wish to change your plans for visiting, check the expiration date on your admission tickets. Tickets purchased directly from Birch Aquarium are valid for one year. If you are unable to reschedule within that time period, please call our Visitor Services Team at 858-534-FISH.

Update: March 13, 2020

To our members: Birch Aquarium memberships are non refundable, but we will be offering extensions to all memberships to compensate for the amount of time we are closed. This includes your guest passes. Thanks for patience during this challenging time. We appreciate your support and look forward to welcoming you back to the aquarium as soon as possible.