For more than three years, I volunteered at an Embarcadero concern adjacent to Morro Bay’s “aquarium.” Every day, disturbing and mournful cries of imprisoned harbor seals and other creatures wafted out into the street from their chain-link fenced-in enclosure and could be heard for blocks in every direction. The sounds of happy frolicking seals and sea lions are strikingly different from those same creatures on display in impossibly cramped conditions solely for human amusement.
Recently, I pitched one of the owners of the “aquarium” with a vision of designing and building a half-underwater, half-above-water viewing amphitheater into the side of the harbor channel where tourists and locals alike could observe wild and free sea creatures coming and going as they wish through a giant window. Other features would include a pier for animals to haul out on adjacent to the window, 24/7 web cams to promote the attraction, and underwater lighting so visitors in person and online could view what goes on after dark.
Money generated from a steady supply of visitors to this all-new attraction would dwarf what the Tylers earn now, increase visitation to other local businesses and lodgings, and, most importantly, free those poor creatures from a life of abject misery and sadness.