If you didn’t think Orange Coast College had an aquarium, think again. Located in the Lewis Center for Applied Arts, the Dennis Kelly Aquarium holds thousands of gallons of fresh and salt water full of marine life for the public to enjoy.
From warm water tropical fish, to a live coral reef tank, open ocean species and kelp forests, the aquarium is more like a full functioning marine laboratory that provides hands-on experiences and learning for students and the community.
Visitors will notice a display called the “rack system” that features different species. These tanks are placed side by side in rows and makes observing the marine life easy and interesting.
This aquarium is entirely student-run and overseen by the faculty. Students who are enrolled in the specified classes, such as marine aquarium science, are in charge of maintenance and species planning. Husbandry decisions are also part of their role, meaning they are in charge of the care and breeding of the marine animals in the facility.
This mini-aquarium is a dream come true for those interested in marine science. It has given students the upper hand with experience being that some get the opportunity to move on to working as aquarists at the Long Beach Aquarium, and research facilities like the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
It is highly recommended that everyone goes to visit. Ask lots of questions as students over seeing are happy to answer and very knowledgeable.
The aquarium is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.