Santa Barbara Island giant kelp stipes
Chuck Kopczak, Ph.D.

Forest Zone

Rain forests, coral reefs and kelp forests sustain an amazing number of plants and animals. But why? Ecologists try to understand the intricacies of these diverse ecosystems by exploring, and so can you.

Exhibit Highlights

  • Kelp fronds

    Kelp Forest

    Take a trip to our living, growing kelp forest. Walk through a tunnel at the bottom of a 188,000 gallon tank, and gaze into the kelp as though you were walking along the ocean floor. In this nutrient-rich habitat you’ll see many of the plants and animals you’d find off the Southern California coast, from leopard sharks and garibaldi, to bat rays and moray eels.

  • Rainforest concept sketch

    Rain Forest

    Our future plans for this zone include a living Southeast Asian Rain Forest, which will invite you to roam through another diverse ecosystem.