Explore our underwater world!

Sobela Ocean Aquarium contains 650,000 gallons in total. It features six zones with 34 habitats that tell the story of how ocean currents connect animals across the globe.

The Aquarium includes nearly 8,000 animals representing more than 200 species, including sea otters, a sea turtle, sharks, and giant Pacific octopus.

To help keep all those animals healthy, more than five miles of pipes are located behind the scenes in a state-of-the-art water filtration system.

The total cost of the project was $77 million, with $45 million coming from the Zoological District and $32 million from private donations. The Zoological District is made up of Jackson and Clay counties, which approved a one-eighth cent sales tax in 2011 to support the Zoo.

An additional $10 million in private donations is being raised for an endowment to support the aquarium into the future.

JE Dunn Construction was the general contractor on the project, designed by the architectural firms El Dorado and EHDD.

Its name, Sobela Ocean Aquarium, was selected by benefactors Barnett and Shirley Helzberg to honor their grandchildren, Sawyer, Oliver, Benton, Elias, Leo, Amelia, and Arthur.

Sobela Ocean Aquarium is free with Zoo admission. There is no limit as to how long you can stay inside the Aquarium.

Father holding toddler girl and standing next to mother looking into zoo exhibit

"Many children in our community have not had the opportunity to visit the sea, touch the sand, or smell the ocean. The Aquarium will make those dreams come true for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status. The whole family will be able to enjoy a trip to the ocean, right here in Kansas City!"

Ana Hernandez, in glasses and colorful hat, smiling

Ana Hernandez

Sales Manager at LA MEGA KC and Friends of the Zoo board member

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