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Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific

 100 Aquarium Way
 Long Beach, CA 90802
[P] (562) 951-1701
[F] (562) 951-3109
[email protected]
Ryan Ashton
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 33-0532354 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

"To instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems."

Mission Statement

"To instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems."

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $34,410,000.00
Projected Revenue $37,026,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Education
  • Conservation
  • Animal Care

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

"To instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems."

Background Statement

The Aquarium celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2018. Located on the urban waterfront in Long Beach, California, the Aquarium of the Pacific is the fourth-most attended aquarium in the nation and one of the most visited cultural institutions in the Southern California region.

Pacific Visions, a new wing opening at the Aquarium of the Pacific in May 2019, will allow visitors to explore our relationship with our planet and alternative pathways to a better future. It will include an art gallery, immersive theater, multimedia interactive installations, and live animal exhibits.

In 2018, the Aquarium hosted 1.7 million visitors. With the addition of Pacific Visions, the 200,000 square foot campus houses over 12,000 animal inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean, which provide the foundation for all Aquarium activities and serve as ambassadors for their animal counterparts in the wild. According to the 2016 Morey Report, the Aquarium serves the most ethnically diverse audience of any major Aquarium in the country: visitors are 44% Hispanic, 30% Caucasian, 7% Asian, 4% African American, and 6% other ethnicities. 

Impact Statement

The Aquarium has redefined the modern aquarium. It is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and a place where important topics facing our planet and our ocean are explored by scientists, policy-makers, and stakeholders. Constantly in search of sustainable solutions, the Aquarium of the Pacific was the first among museums, zoos, and aquariums in the nation to register its greenhouse gases and also maintains a commitment to grow without increasing its carbon footprint. The Aquarium leads by example and shows the way to sustainability through its practices behind the scenes as well as what it presents to the general public. The Aquarium began serving the public as an educational resource immediately upon opening as an informal science institution and welcomes approximately 150,000 students, teachers, and community members who participate in educational programs each year. Through these programs, Aquatic Academy courses, and a variety of multimedia experiences, the Aquarium provides numerous opportunities to delve deeper into the ocean and learn more about the planet.

Needs Statement

The Aquarium depends on support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations. One of the Aquarium's greatest needs is funding for educational programming. For example, the Aquarium's Scholarship Fund is solely comprised of gifts from donors with a total revenue goal of $300,000 for 2019. Additionally, funds to feed and care for the 12,000 animals are always a need; one sea otter eats $18,000 worth of seafood per year. For more information on how to support the Aquarium, call the Development Department at (562) 951-1605 or visit our website at

CEO Statement

The Aquarium plays an important role as both a destination and a meeting place, drawing all segments of the community together to learn more about our changing relationship with the Pacific Ocean. By creating a more scientifically informed public, we are providing citizens with the information to make thoughtful, informed decisions about many of the complex environmental and sustainability challenges facing our society.

Board Chair Statement

One of our goals at the Aquarium is to provide leadership for the community, and other cultural institutions, in sustainable practices. While attendance has grown by more than 35 percent since 2002, we’ve decreased our carbon footprint – using less water and energy than ever before, and we are committed to future sustainable growth. I am proud to serve on the board of this organization which is leading the way for future generations of stewards of our natural resources.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Other ways to donate include monetary donations, planned giving, and matching or in-kind gifts. Individuals are also welcome to volunteer, attend an event or festival, become a member, Adopt an Animal, or fund an item on the Aquarium's Animal Care Wish List.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
North Orange County
Central Orange County
West Orange County
South Orange County
67% of visitors are from Southern California (8% Long Beach, 32% Other Los Angeles County, 10% Orange County, 17% other Southern California), 6% Northern California, 15% other United States, and  12% outside the United States.

Organization Categories

  1. Animal Related - Zoos & Aquariums
  2. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community & Neighbourhood Development




The Aquarium’s education programs are designed to foster connections between people and the ocean and to advance learning for a broad range of students of all ages and backgrounds. The Aquarium's education department teaches over fifty science programs that exceed California mandated science K-12 standards, complementing and reinforcing what students learn in their regular classrooms, and exposing them to a unique, hands-on learning experience. The Aquarium also serves students from underserved schools through the scholarship program. Information about educational programs can be found here:

Budget  2,700,000
Category  Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success  After individual field trips, teachers are asked to complete a survey about their experience. Many students also send thank you cards to Aquarium staff stating how what they learned will help them become better ocean stewards.
Program Long-Term Success 

The Aquarium’s education department has created an engaging curriculum, exhibits, web materials, films, and messages designed to reach the widest and most diverse possible audiences. The following milestones best highlight these outreach and educational achievements:

-More than 3.2 million field trip participants have visited the Aquarium, many as participants in one of our fifty California Science Standards aligned classroom and theater programs.

Funded through corporate and foundation giving, free admission to more than 350,000 low-income students has been provided by the Aquarium Scholarship Fund since inception.

- Over 200 teachers have been “immersed” in marine science by participating in the Boeing Teacher Institute since 1999.

- The Aquarium’s mobile outreach vehicle, the Aquarium on Wheels, has traveled more than 100,000 miles with transportable exhibits of representative sea life since its premiere in 2002, reaching over 350,000 people in communities unable to come to the Aquarium.

Program Success Monitored By  Biannual surveys conducted by the Morey Group serve as a testament to the overall success of the Aquarium and its educational programs. Additionally, a formal evaluation of the scholarship program is conducted annually. This ensures that metrics are being met or exceeded and also provides crucial feedback on how best to approach today's underserved students.
Examples of Program Success  As budget cuts affect the quality of science education in schools, the demand for field trips for K-12 schools (a majority of which are Title I) has increased significantly. In response, the Aquarium has received multiple grants to sponsor these field trips as well as to provide professional development opportunities for Aquarium staff.


The Aquarium seeks to inform and inspire visitors, staff, and the local and global community regarding conservation. The Aquarium conducts conservation programs both on and offsite, which include an abalone cultivation and outreach program (in partnership with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service), and a Guam Kingfisher breeding and awareness program.

Aquarium staff implement sustainable practices throughout the facility and conduct local restoration and neighborhood pollution prevention projects. More information on the Aquarium’s conservation initiatives can be found here:

Budget  400,000
Category  Animal-Related, General/Other Zoological Parks & Aquariums
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

Short-term success of the program can be determined by milestone markers set by animal care staff. These can include successfully completing a new animal exhibit or rehabilitating animals that need quality medical attention before further steps can be taken.

Program Long-Term Success 

The long-term success of the Aquarium's conservation programs is determined by the success of individual programs.

A prime case is the successful mating of our Giant Black Sea Bass to produce a viable offspring. We are the first aquarium to have done so.

Another example is the Aquarium's Guam Kingfisher program which will be considered a success if the breeding pair of Kingfishers produce offspring.

Program Success Monitored By 

Program success is monitored by the Aquarium's animal care staff. Additionally, the Aquarium partners with various organizations on conservation programs including the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the San Diego and St. Louis Zoos, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, thereby serving as alternative resources for suggestions and guidance.

Examples of Program Success 

The Aquarium of the Pacific was the first institution in the United States to successfully breed weedy sea dragons. Most recently, in January 2015 the Aquarium became the first to be able to successfully reproduce zebra sharks through artificial insemination. More than 100 million sharks in the wild are killed annually due to human impact. Being able to artificially inseminate large shark species like the zebra shark can further research in helping dwindling shark populations in the wild.

Animal Care

The Aquarium's husbandry department oversees the care, feeding, and life support systems needed to support over 12,000 animals representing over 700 species in more than 50 exhibits, including several touch tank experiences. Sea lions, sea otters, sharks, rays, diving birds, sea jellies, corals, sea dragons, turtles, and fish of all types from temperate to tropical species are on display. Caretaking includes feeding of the highest quality sustainable seafood available, monitoring water quality and all life support systems, medical exams and routine procedures, and providing proper exhibit and behind-the-scenes space to the animals.

Budget  $440,000.00
Category  Animal-Related, General/Other Zoological Parks & Aquariums
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  N/A
Program Long-Term Success  The health and well-being of the Aquarium's 12,000 animals is the main priority of the institution. Providing exceptional care to the animals is not a program which can be divided up between long-term and short-term success, but is rather a continuous effort made by staff daily.
Program Success Monitored By  The Aquarium's husbandry department monitors the collection and sees to the needs of the 12,000 animals. The staff veterinarian is also onsite or on-call at any point during the day. The Aquarium is accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is evaluated by the organization approximately every three years. All recommendations and suggestions made by AZA are taken seriously by the Aquarium and then implemented.
Examples of Program Success  Program success can be evaluated by visiting the Aquarium and seeing first-hand the cleanliness of the tanks and the beguiling personalities of its animals. More concise examples would be the procurement of offspring, especially the bamboo sharks, the longevity of certain species, and accolades or awards by certain groups.


CEO/Executive Director Dr. Jerry Schubel Ph.D.
CEO Term Start June 2002
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Dr. Jerry Schubel joined the Aquarium of the Pacific in June 2002. He is President and CEO emeritus of the New England Aquarium where he served from 1994 to 2001. While at the New England Aquarium, he formed strategic alliances with many leading researchers and research institutions in the greater Boston area as well as the Boston schools. An accomplished and respected administrator and scientist, Dr. Schubel was Dean and Director of the State University of New York at Stony Brook’s Marine Sciences Research Center from 1974 to November 1994. He has published approximately 200 scientific papers and is the author or editor of several books including: The Life and Death of the Chesapeake Bay; co-author (with Homer A. Neal) of Garbage & Trash. Can We Convert Mountains Into Molehills?; and co-editor of The Great South Bay.  Dr. Schubel has long been active in regional, national and international environmental affairs. He was co-founder of the Long Island Environmental-Economic Forum, a member of NASA’s National Oceanic Satellite System Science Working Group, Chairman of the New York Sea Grant Institute Governing Board, participant in the Korea-U.S. Seminar on Marine Geology, Chairman of the National Research Council’s Marine Board, a Commissioner of the NRC’s Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, an instructor at the National Institute of Oceanography in Pakistan, and an honorary Professor of East China University in Shanghai. A Michigan native, Dr. Schubel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alma College, Alma, Michigan; a Masters degree from Harvard University; and a Ph.D. in oceanography from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Warren Lliff Mr. -- 2002
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Ryan Ashton Director of Development --
Mr. David Bader Director of Education --
Mr. Anthony Brown VP Finance/CFO --
Ms. Cecile Fisher VP of Communications and Marketing --
Ms. Kathie Nirschl VP of Human Resources --
Mr. John Rouse Vice President Operations --
Ms. Sandy Trautwein Interim VP Husbandry --


Award Awarding Organization Year
2017-2018 Pinnacle Award Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration 2018
4-star rating, the highest possible rating by Charity Navigator Charity Navigator 2018
2017 Friend of Child Life Award Miller Children's and Women's Hospital Long Beach 2017
2017 Muse Award American Alliance of Museums 2017
Special Recognition Award The Climate Registry 2017
4-star rating, the highest possible rating by Charity Navigator Charity Navigator 2016
Best use in science, technology, and education in a story map Esri 2016
2015 Cool Planet Award The Climate Registry and Southern California Edison 2015
2015 Travelers’ Choice Award for Aquariums TripAdvisor® 2015
Pinnacle Award for videoconferencing program Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) 2015
Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award Esri 2015
2014 A.R.E. design award for the Pacific Collection's kelp glass wall The Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) 2014
Good Design Award for the Wonders of the Deep exhibit Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies 2014
2013 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 2013
Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor 2013
Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for hte interactive videoconferencing program California Association of Museums (CAM) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction 2013
2011 Best of L.A. Los Angeles Magazine’s 2011
Super Nova Star Award as most energy-efficient business with annual revenues under $150 million Alliance to Save Energy 2009
Affinity Award celebrates and recognizes outstanding distance learning projects Alliance for Distance Education in California 2008
Climate Action Leader - first U.S. aquarium, zoo, or museum to register greenhouse gas emissions The Climate Registry 2007
MUSE award, for the Whales: Voices in the Sea exhibit Board of the American Association of Museums 2005
Edward H. Bean Award for the Weedy Sea Dragon Propagation Program American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) 2002


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
American Zoos and Aquariums Association - Accreditation 2015


Staff collaborates with a number of organizations to ensure the effective management of employees and volunteers. Additionally, all hires at the executive level require board input and approval and in some cases, reputable search firms are used to create a qualified recruitment pool.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 175
Number of Part Time Staff 191
Number of Volunteers 1,700
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 99%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 26
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 22
Caucasian: 169
Hispanic/Latino: 109
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 16
Other (if specified): Two or more races
Gender Female: 225
Male: 141
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Ms. Kathleen Eckert
Board Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Chair Term Jan 2017 -
Board Co-Chair Mr. Douglas Otto
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term 1994 -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
David Cameron -- Voting
Esther Chao Giant Panda Management --
Kathleen Eckert Community Leader Voting
Bob Foster -- --
Charlotte Ginsburg -- --
Jennifer Hagle Sidley Austin LLP Voting
Phil Herrington Southern California Edison --
Russell Hill Halbert, Hargrove/Russell Voting
Josh Jones Bitcoin Builder --
Sam King King's Seafood Company Voting
Bert Levy Mediation Services Voting
Henry Matson -- Voting
John Molina Pacific6 Voting
Mario Molina Golden Shore Medical Group Voting
Stephan Morikawa American Honda Motor Company --
Stephen Olson The Olson Company Voting
Douglas Otto Attorney Voting
Mark Paullin Capstan, Inc. --
Karl Pettijohn -- Voting
Jerry Schubel Aquarium of the Pacific Voting
Kurt Schulzmann Minka Group --
Michael Sondermann Sondermann Enterprises Voting
Donald Tippett Tippett Moordhead & Haden --
Thomas Turney NewCap Partners, Inc. Voting
Stephen Young Keesal, Young & Logan Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 21
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 30%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Scientific Advisory


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $39,493,398 $52,904,926 $33,796,963
Total Expenses $32,387,778 $31,141,128 $29,950,151

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$3,379,386 $16,146,862 $4,235,665
Government Contributions $1,534,032 $3,142,139 $510,626
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $1,534,032 $3,142,139 $510,626
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- $0
Earned Revenue $32,982,493 $31,918,578 $24,792,710
Investment Income, Net of Losses $28,583 $90,974 $13,841
Membership Dues -- -- $0
Special Events $318,476 $366,965 $410,339
Revenue In-Kind $168,924 $162,458 $131,472
Other $1,081,504 $1,076,950 $3,871,996

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $26,466,245 $25,944,936 $24,520,005
Administration Expense $4,479,943 $3,707,006 $3,718,174
Fundraising Expense $1,441,590 $1,489,186 $1,711,972
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.22 1.70 1.13
Program Expense/Total Expenses 82% 83% 82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 28% 8% 33%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $61,615,061 $56,635,121 $38,668,412
Current Assets $28,944,733 $31,217,675 $13,750,651
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $6,825,587 $6,465,308 $5,785,496
Total Net Assets $54,789,474 $50,169,813 $32,882,916

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.24 4.83 2.38

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value $524,003.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose Physical expansion to provide additional educational programs and increased capacity
Campaign Goal $53,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Mar 2016 - Dec 2024
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $52,700,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the form 990s and the organization.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.