WEBCAMS? They've been around for years, delighting screen-watchers with a host of animal-based, nature-cool scenes. But the popular livestreams, which can capture a critter's every adorable and interesting move, became treasured windows to the wider world for many people during the coronavirus closures. The Monterey Bay Aquarium, which has long embraced the look-closer technology, kept the webcams on during the closures, even as the Cannery Row destination remained shuttered to the public. Viewers got the chance to see the daily penguin feeding, and some wild otters at play, too. But now the MBA webcam experience is about to flow, like surf upon the sand, back into IRL connection. Which is another way to say this: The doors to the famous ocean institution will reopen to visitors in July.
SPECIFICALLY, JULY 9... for members, and July 13 for non-members. "The Aquarium team is following a reopening plan that provides a high-quality experience for all guests, aligns with California’s Resilience Roadmap and is approved by the Monterey County Health Department," reads a message from the team." Capacity? It will be limited, and one-way paths will be implemented. There are other safety policies in place, too, like face coverings for all guests older than 3 (and, yes, staff members, too).
TICKETS GO ON SALE... on July 1. "We’ve missed welcoming our visitors to the Aquarium and have been looking forward to this day," said Executive Director Julie Packard. "Social media and our online experiences have allowed us to stay connected with people virtually, but there is no substitute for connecting with favorite exhibits and animals in real life. People can expect an outstanding experience that puts the well-being of our guests, staff and volunteers front and center."
EVEN IF YOU DO RETURN... soon after the reopening, be assured that those online experiences will remain in place, so you can still keep watch on your favorite otter cam, or even upload a Zoom background featuring a peaceful aquarium scene.