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December 20, 2017
K Dock at PIER 39

Celebrate the 28th 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. Today, the Sea Lion Center overlooking K-Dock offers interactive displays, educational videos, and much more.

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 many years and these wonderful mammals continue to delight millions of guests annually, and have become local celebrities.

Join PIER 39 throughout January in 2018, from the 1st to the 28th, to celebrate these playful mammals with special programming to be announced shortly. You can learn even more about the sea lions, and find an updated calendar of events by visiting 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

For more information on events at The PIER, please visit

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