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January 10, 2017
K Dock at PIER 39

Celebrate the 27th Anniversary of the Sea Lions’ Arrival

It was a dark and difficult time for San Francisco in the months following October 1989. The community was focused on getting themselves back on their feet after the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the Bay Area. Then something extraordinary occurred: California Sea Lions began arriving in PIER 39’s Marina.

They came sparingly at first, but soon began arriving in droves, quickly reaching more than 500 in January 1990. With a protected environment and a plentiful supply of food from the Bay, the sea lions quickly decided to make PIER 39’s K-Dock their new home. The Marina Staff turned to The Marine Mammal Center for advice about their new slippery tenants. After much debate and research, the experts from The Marine Mammal Center recommended that the sea lions be allowed to stay.

The boisterous barking pinnipeds were a bright spot, and made local, national and international headlines. It was truly a phenomenon that brought a lot of joy to many. Fast forward 27 years and these wonderful mammals continue to delight millions of guests annually.

Join PIER 39 from Jan. 20-22, 2017 to celebrate these playful mammals with Sea Lion Encounter Tours, free, 20-minute educational tours that end at the Sea Lion Center. Besides learning all about California sea lions, tour participants will also be treated to a celebratory treat, discounts at participating PIER 39 businesses, a two-hour parking validation for the PIER 39 Garage, and special exhibits from Aquarium of the Bay and The Marine Mammal Center. Tours depart at 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. from the Sea Lion Statue west of the PIER 39 Entrance Plaza. Please note that this event will be held rain or shine. In the case of inclement weather, Sea Lion Anniversary activities will be moved indoors. For more event information and to watch a video about the sea lions, please visit PIER 39 online.

PIER 39 sea lion fans can also join the celebration by taking the Sea Lion Pledge to support a happy and healthy home for sea lions around the world. For more information and to take the pledge, visit

PIER 39 is 39

Sea Lion Anniversary marks the launch of PIER 39's 39-week 39th Anniversary celebration. Every Friday from January through October, head to The PIER for an evening of fun. Whether it's discounts, giveaways or special events like Movie Nights and a 70's Roller Disco Party, there's something for everyone. For more information, visit

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