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Conservation - California Sea Lions

What can you do?

California sea lions are currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List, which means that overall their population size is large. However, certain colonies in the Gulf of California have decreased over the last 15 years and might be reaching “Near Threatened” status.
 
Sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, which means that it is illegal to attempt to swim with, touch, or feed these animals in the wild.  Most people are unaware that it is illegal to even approach or interact with wild sea lions within 50 yards. Feeding these animals can alter their natural behaviors and put them at risk for negative consequences… an adult male California sea lion can weigh up to 800 pounds!  Furthermore, if you are prosecuted for violating the MMPA, you could face up to a year in prison and fines of more than $11,000.  
 
According to National Geographic, more than 3,000 starving sea lion pups washed up on California shores as of June 2015.  This mass-stranding event has increased over the last three years.  Scientists have concluded that a contributing factor to these strandings is a lack of available food sources for the pups. Seafood Watch has an excellent guide on finding sustainable seafood at your local grocery store or in your favorite restaurant here.
 
Several amazing facilities have been providing round-the-clock care to sick and starved marine mammals, such as California sea lions pups. Want to make a difference to these animals and save lives?  Please consider donating to one of the organizations below:
 
 

Want to know how you can help protect your favorite animal species? Click the links below to discover even more you can do to help marine life!

 
 
 
 
 

    ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

  • Dolphin Star >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Dolphin Star

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Price: $15.00
      Duration: 3 Minutes
    • Take center stage, as an acting veterinarian, while joining our marine mammal trainers dockside during a segment in one of our dolphin shows. This experience includes the opportunity to touch and feed a dolphin! 

    • DetailsReserve
  • Dolphin Splash Encounter >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Dolphin Splash Encounter

    • Ages: 8 and Up
      Price: $169.00
      Duration: 20 Minutes
    • Enter the dolphins’ world for an unforgettable experience as you get up close and personal with these sleek and graceful animals. While in shallow water, you will play, touch, and learn about our Atlantic bottlenose dolphins alongside a Gulfarium trainer.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Dolphins >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Dolphins

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Price: $35.00
      Duration: 5 Minutes
    • You won’t help but be enchanted as you meet our dolphin family during this hands-on dockside encounter. Play, laugh, and learn about the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, known for their curious nature and spirited disposition.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Stingray Bay Snorkel >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Stingray Bay Snorkel

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Price: $39.00
      Duration: 1 Hour
      (20-25 min in-water)
    • Immerse yourself in a bay of wonder as you snorkel with stingrays and sharks! You’ll be provided all the snorkel gear needed to marvel at the beauty and graceful nature of these mystifying creatures.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Harbor Seals >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Harbor Seals

    • Ages: 8 and Up
      Price: $39.00
      Duration: 10 Minutes
    • Gentle, yet playful, our Harbor seals will melt your heart while you touch and feed them during this special interaction.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Kids Reptile Safari >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Kids Reptile Safari

    • Ages: 3 and Up
      Price: $15.00
      Duration: 25 Minutes
    • Are reptiles creepy creatures or cute critters? You be the judge! Meet several of Gulfarium's cold-blooded residents including turtles, lizards, snakes, and alligators.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Penguins >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Penguins

    • Ages: 8 and Up
      Price: $39.00
      Duration: 20 Minutes
    • Meet our flightless friends of the sea! Participants will have the opportunity to feed and touch an African penguin while learning about these lively and lovable birds.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Turtles >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Turtles

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Price: $39.00
      Duration: 45 Minutes
    • This turtle-filled encounter will introduce you to our seafaring loggerheads, a variety of fresh water turtles, and even our land-loving African spurred tortoises. Go behind-the-scenes to learn about our long running sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation program where you will get an up-close and personal experience with these beautiful animals!

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Sea Lions >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Sea Lions

    • Ages: 8 and Up
      Price: $39.00
      Duration: 10 Minutes
    • Known for their lively spirit and clever ways, our California sea lions are ready to play! Join the trainers that interact with them every day for a dynamic encounter full of fun and thrills!

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Gators >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Gators

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Price: $15.00
      Duration: 15 Minutes
    • The Gulfarium is home to several life stages of Florida's state reptile, the American alligator. Meet and touch our juvenile gators, then set foot into the large gator habitat for a closer look at these fascinating swamp dwellers.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Discover Stingrays >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Discover Stingrays

    • Ages: 4 and Up
      Price: $15.00
      Duration: 15 Minutes
    • Dip your hands into our stingray estuary and marvel at the tranquility of these gentle fish as they glide under your fingertips.  Soak up specifics on stingrays from a Gulfarium aquarist and meet these graceful creatures of the sea from the comfort of dry land.

    • DetailsReserve
  • VIP Trainer >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    VIP Trainer

    • Ages: 13 and Up
      Price: $379.00
      Duration: 5 Hours
    • Ever wonder what it's like to be a marine mammal trainer at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park? As a VIP Trainer, you can enjoy a hands-on, behind-the-scenes experience like no other! Working side-by-side with our trainers, you'll learn and practice all it takes to train and care for all of our marine mammal residents, including dolphins!

    • DetailsReserve
  • SPECIAL PROGRAMS

  • Sunset Camp (starts June 7, 2018) >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Sunset Camp (starts June 7, 2018)

    • Ages: 6 to 14
      Price: $89.00
      Duration: 5 Hours
    • Enjoy an evening out while your children have an unforgettable experience at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.  Includes a dockside encounter with a dolphin, exploratory venture along the beach, ocean-themed activities, and dinner alongside the seals.

    • DetailsReserve
  • Breakfast with the Dolphins (summer only) >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Breakfast with the Dolphins (summer only)

    • Ages: 5 and Up
      Prices: Breakfast with the Dolphins Ages 5 through 12 - $89.00
      Breakfast with the Dolphins Ages 13 and up - $99.00
      Duration: 1 Hour
    • Start your day with a smile as you enjoy a delicious breakfast with the company of dolphins on the deck of our Dolphin Point exhibit. While your meal is prepared, you will have the opportunity to touch and feed the dolphins and interact with the trainers to learn more about our finned family

    • DetailsReserve
  • Birthday Party Package >V
  • Dolphin Trainer

    Birthday Party Package

    • Ages: All ages
      Prices: Birthday Party Deposit - $50.00
      Balance - $250.00
      Duration: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
      (duration refers to Living Sea room rental; party can explore the park anytime between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.)
    • Celebrate your birthday in a wild and crazy way!  Have a splash-tastic day at the Gulfarium with your friends and family and enjoy lunch “under the sea” surrounded by beautiful tropical fish in our Living Sea event room.

    • DetailsReserve
Buy Tickets Annual Pass
2015 Best of Emerald Coast Award 2016 finast of Emerald Coast Award Accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Accredited by the International Marine Animal Trainers Association Destin Area Chamber of Commerce Member Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce