Oceanographic Teaching Stations, Inc. 

40 Years of Marine Science Education

The Early Years

In 1979 the Oceanographic Teaching Stations, Inc. (OTS) was formed by six dedicated citizens to promote the study of the oceans, tidelands, and beaches of Southern California. OTS acquired the right to create a marine science education center in a rundown building at the end of the Manhattan Beach pier. With help from local volunteers and seed money from TRW and Arco, the forerunner to the Roundhouse Marine Studies was up, running, and open to students in Los Angeles County by 1982. By the end of the 80s the Roundhouse Aquarium was serving 110 classes per year.

Becoming a Modern Aquarium

In 1991, the Roundhouse Aquarium was torn down in order to renovate the facility. All animals were temporarily relocated to the Chevron site in El Segundo. About a year later, the aquarium opened back up, showcasing a touch tank, shark tank, and other exhibits of marine life. Throughout the years of educating the public, the Roundhouse has upgraded its facilities and received funds from the Manhattan beach Property Owners Association to aquire an outreach van from the Manhattan Beach Property Owners Association.

The Next Generation

In 2016, OTS, the Harrison Greenberg Foundation (HGF), and the City of Manhattan Beach entered a cooperative agreement to renovate the Roundhouse Aquarium. With a generous donation from HGF and community support, renovations started in 2017 and the aquarium (animals and all) relocated to a temporary facility at the base of the Manhattan Beach pier. In 2018, the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center re-opened to the public in a newly transformed and re-imagined facility designed to provide a state-of-the-art, immersive learning experience. The outreach program expanded with the renovation of the van in 2019. Now, the Roundhouse Aquarium Teaching Center continues its mission to create the next generation of leaders, advocates, and marine scientists who care about our ocean and natural environment, and have a profound sense of responsibility to care for it.

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