Birch Aquarium Celebrates $150k Gift from La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club with the naming of its Potbelly Seahorse Habitat

The generous gift launches a strategic partnership between two iconic La Jolla institutions.

Last night Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego unveiled a plaque honoring a $150,000 gift from La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club to name the aquarium’s Potbelly Seahorse exhibit.

“The Potbelly Seahorse has been the center of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s iconic logo since 1935, so it's only fitting that we connect with Birch Aquarium to support conservation and education efforts,” said Michael O’Donohue, Managing Director of La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.  “The aquarium is an integral part of our community, and this is just the beginning of our partnership. We look forward to finding meaningful ways to engage our members with Birch Aquarium moving forward.” 

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Potbelly Seahorse Habitat plaque.

The Club maintains close ties with the La Jolla community, working to help foster a welcoming environment for its guests, employees and those who call La Jolla home. Throughout its history, it has stood as an iconic symbol of what makes La Jolla so special. Awarded the Family-Owned & Closely-Held Business Award by The San Diego Business Journal, as well as the Workplace Excellence Award by Peter Barron Stark Companies.

“We are honored to be launching this partnership with La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club,” said Birch Aquarium Executive Director Harry Helling. “During this season of giving, we are thankful for the Club’s support of our mission and their commitment to ocean conservation and biodiversity.”

Named for their large, bulging abdomens, Potbelly Seahorses are one of the largest species of seahorse. The conservation of this species is especially important as they continue to face threats from overfishing, habitat loss and climate change.

The Potbelly Seahorse is part of one of five Species Survival Plans (SSP) Birch Aquarium participates in through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs help to maintain the genetic diversity of this amazing species among zoos and aquariums to ensure healthy and thriving populations.

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club Potbelly Seahorse Habitat is part of Seadragons & Seahorses which opened in 2018 and has welcomed more than 2 million guests.