PIER 39 Celebrates the 26th Anniversary of the Sea Lions’ Arrival

PIER 39 Celebrates the 26th Anniversary of the Sea Lions’ Arrival

SAN FRANCISCO – (January 4, 2016) – It was a dark and difficult time for San Francisco in the months following October 1989. The community was focused on getting themselves back on their feet after the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the Bay Area. Then something extraordinary occurred: California Sea Lions began arriving in PIER 39’s Marina.

They came sparingly at first, but soon began arriving in droves, quickly reaching more than 500 in January 1990. With a protected environment and a plentiful supply of food from the Bay, the sea lions quickly decided to make PIER 39’s K-Dock their new home. The Marina Staff turned to The Marine Mammal Center for advice about their new slippery tenants. After much debate and research, the experts from The Marine Mammal Center recommended that the sea lions be allowed to stay.
The boisterous barking pinnipeds were a bright spot, and made local, national and international headlines. It was truly a phenomenon that brought a lot of joy to many. Fast forward 26 years and these wonderful mammals continue to delight millions of guests annually.

Join PIER 39 from January 15 – 18 to celebrate these playful mammals with Sea Lion Encounter Walking Tours, free, 20-minute educational tours that end at the Sea Lion Center. Besides learning all about California sea lions, tour participants will also be treated to a celebratory treat, discounts at participating PIER 39 businesses (including a 2-hour parking validation for the PIER 39 Garage) and special exhibits from Aquarium of the Bay and The Marine Mammal Center. Tours depart at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm from the Sea Lion Statue west of the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza. For more event information and to watch a video about the sea lions, click here.

The Sea Lion Anniversary is part of a PIER-wide campaign to help support the Sea Lion Center’s educational programs, as well as a sustainable environment for sea lions everywhere. Visitors to The PIER will be able to make donations at PIER 39 businesses to support the Sea Lion Center’s free daily presentations and classroom programs for students and visitors from around the world. In addition, PIER 39 sea lion fans can join the celebration by taking the Sea Lion Pledge to support a happy and healthy home for sea lions around the world. For more information about how you can help, click here.