Aquarium of the Pacific asks for public's help amid latest shutdown

Here's how you can help the Aquarium of the Pacific stay afloat in Long Beach amid the latest shutdown in Los Angeles County.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Aquarium of the Pacific has closed its doors to the public once again due to the latest stay-at-home order.

While visitors will not be allowed back until at least Dec. 28, there are still 12,000 residents who need care.

"We just bleed money," said the aquarium's President and CEO Dr. Peter Kareiva. "We have zero income and you can't scrimp on animal care."

According to the aquarium, animal care costs roughly $750,000 per month.

The nonprofit is now asking for the public's help to stay afloat.

"We're really asking for donations just to survive," Kareiva said. "At a minimum we've just lost, I would say, $700,000 for December because of this."

In July, the aquarium reopened its outdoor exhibits to the public for the first time since March, offering half-price admission. Kareiva said that, on a good day, the outdoor-only aquarium would see 800 to 1,000 guests.

SEE MORE: Behind the scenes at Long Beach's Aquarium of the Pacific during COVID-19

"When the full thing was open, we would have days where we had 10,000 visits," Kareiva said.

Kareiva said the indefinite shutdown could lead to significant cuts to the aquarium's programs.

"Significant programs would be cut, conservation programs that involve citizens would be cut, education programs where you go into schools would be cut," he said. "It would be stripped and bare to become an aquarium that simply offered you to visit and see things with none of the enrichments."

The Aquarium of the Pacific will continue keeping people connected through virtual programming. Those who want to donate can do so through the aquarium's website.

"This is your aquarium," Kareiva said. "If you've been to it, you can appreciate it. So let's keep it a gem."

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