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Aquarium Pass Program

valid from September 3, 2019 through May 21, 2020. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium and MCFL Offer

Aquarium Access for

Low-Income Families

Eligible adults (18 years of age and older) can receive one free pass to the Aquarium per program year from MCFL. One pass admits up to six (6) family members for a one-time visit.

Shelf to Shore Image

What is it? The Shelf to Shore program was created for families who otherwise cannot afford to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Aquarium partners locally with MCFL to distribute one free pass per year to eligible adult residents of Monterey County. Salinas Public Library and Watsonville Public Library provide free passes to eligible adults living within their communities.

Who is Eligible for a pass? You must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Qualify as low-income* (described below).

  2. Be an adult (18 years of age or older).

  3. Show proof that you are a current resident of Monterey County.

  4. Have a valid Monterey County Free Libraries card.

The library is required to verify that you are a resident of Monterey County, an adult 18 years of age or older, and have a valid MCFL card. The library does not ask for proof of low-income.

Note: Shelf-to-Shore passes are to be used for family visits to the Aquarium only. For example, adult chaperones on school field trips cannot use Shelf-to-Shore passes for free admission.

What qualifies as low-income*? Low-income is defined by the Aquarium for this program as enrollment in the Free School Lunch Program, WIC/SNAP, Meals on Wheels, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, or similar services. Proof of low-income eligibility is based on the honor system.

How do I get a pass? If you are eligible, visit your local branch of MCFL to request a pass. Eligible adults may obtain one free pass to the Aquarium once a program year from MCFL. One pass admits up to six (6) family members for a one-time visit.

Shelf to Shore passes are available at all MCFL branches and bookmobiles. MCFL can only give out passes to Monterey County residents. Please bring your library card with you when requesting a pass. If you don’t have a library card, please bring some current ID showing your residential address so you can apply for a library card.

If you are NOT eligible for a free pass, you may:

         Visit during the annual Community Open House, the first full week of December every year:  For all residents, regardless of income, from the Tri-County region (Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito)

         Consider Membership in the Aquarium

         Take advantage of the Aquarium new Locals Programs with special pricing on admission for locals.

Visit Monterey Bay Aquarium to learn more about ocean life and conservation.

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