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San Francisco Mayor London Breed Proclaims January 16 as SEALION DAY

Mayor London Breed at Sea Lion Day Proclamation with Aquarium of the Bay President & CEO George Jacob, CEO of Pier 39 Taylor Safford and the Marina Harbor Master Sheila Chandor

Smithsonian Affiliated Aquarium of the Bay Launches 30 Painted Sea Lions to Mark the 30th Anniversary of their Arrival at PIER 39 in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, January 16, 2020 / -- To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the sea lions at PIER 39, Aquarium of the Bay launched thirty six-foot-tall sea lion statues exclusively painted by thirty Bay Area artists with QR Code enabled environmental messages. Bringing thousands of curious onlookers when they debuted at the PIER 39 plaza entrance, the painted Sea Lions instantly endeared themselves to visitors passing by.

The amazing Sea Lions will dot premier spots across San Francisco after January 20th, where they will remain on display for the remainder of 2020. Conceived by the Smithsonian Affiliated Aquarium of the Bay, Sea Lion Center and jointly implemented with PIER 39, this art installation is part of the largest public STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) initiative in California.

California sea lions began arriving in PIER 39’s Marina in late 1989 after the earthquake Prieta Loma. They came sparingly at first, then soon began arriving in droves, quickly reaching more than 500 in number by January of 1990, eventually peaking upwards of 1400. With a protected environment and a plentiful supply of food from the Bay, the sea lions quickly made PIER 39’s K-Dock their new home. The boisterous barking pinnipeds have attracted millions of visitors from around the world over the decades. Their residency at PIER 39 is truly a natural phenomenon that brings joy to Bay Area locals as well as visitors from around the world annually.

George Jacob, President & CEO of the Smithsonian Affiliated Aquarium of the Bay, conceived the "Sea Lions in San Francisco" initiative inviting Bay Area artists to paint environmental messages on 30 Six-foot tall Sea Lion Statues. A Jury drawn from PIER 39, Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco Travel, San Francisco Environment and Golden Gates Parks Conservancy and San Francisco Port Commission selected thirty winning entries from over 180 submissions. With Opening remarks from Taylor Safford, the CEO of PIER 39, Jacob shared the 18 months of the project details in the making. Mayor London Breed declared January 16 as a SEA LION DAY in San Francisco with a surprise Proclamation!

“The Port is proud to host the sea lion installation all along the waterfront,” said Elaine Forbes, Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco. “We love seeing the majestic marine mammals in the water and are looking forward to seeing the artistic renderings dot the waterfront providing residents and visitors Inspiration and important information about climate change and sea level rise.”

Rebeca Kaplan
Aquarium of the Bay
+1 415-309-5966
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