After being closed for the month of September for maintenance and remodeling projects, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium reopened October 1st with a new three-dimensional interactive exhibit.

The centerpiece of the new display is a 180-gallon sea jelly “kreisel” filled with majestic moon jellies, aquarium staff say. A kreisel is a round tank specially designed to protect the fragile structure of a jelly.

Surrounding the jelly exhibit is a mural depicting scenes of the watershed from the city’s shoreline into the open ocean, illustrating the human impact on the environment along the way.

The mural, along with a life-sized wooden albatross, were designed and created by professional muralist Cleo Vilett.

A floating plastic exhibit demonstrates how marine debris’ animal mimicry often results in the death of the marine life that mistakenly ingests the floating plastic, a staff member says. This ties into the environmental group Heal the Bay’s single-use plastic bag ban efforts.

The aquarium closes each September for maintenance projects and curriculum development, and to upgrade exhibits.

Students and their teachers began arriving again for marine education field trips October 1st, when winter public hours also resumed.

The aquarium will be open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. weekends.

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is on the pier, at the end of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica. Information, www.healthebay .org/smpa/ or (310) 393-6149.

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