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PIER 39's K-Dock filled with California sea lions

Join us at PIER 39 to engage with our dockside docents and explore our pop-up conservation education and retail space.

Conservation experts from The Marine Mammal Center are stationed at two different PIER 39 locations to bring the stories of California sea lions to life as part of an educational experience for all ages. 

At K-Dock, adjacent to the PIER’s world-famous sea lion haul-out area, staff and volunteers from the Center will be available daily to talk with visitors about the sea lions and share how we can all take action to keep them safe. 

Upstairs, in an area overlooking the sea lions, the Center will welcome guests to explore a pop-up space where they will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn about California sea lions from our trained staff and volunteers
  • Engage with the Center’s Youth Crew as they walk guests through the stories of sea lions cared for by the Center
  • Understand the threats that sea lions are facing in San Francisco Bay, including climate change, ocean trash and overfishing
  • Take a pledge to protect sea lions and our shared ocean environment
  • Shop at our retail space featuring sustainable goods, with all proceeds supporting the Center’s mission of global ocean conservation

This pop-up education experience will be open until mid-October when construction will begin on the Sea Lion Spot, a state-of-the-art exhibit and retail space slated to open in spring 2024.

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Docent Hours at K-Dock Sea Lion Haul-Out Area

11:30am - 5pm daily

Hours at Indoor Pop-Up Conservation Education Space

11am - 6pm daily

Open June 29 - October 16

visitors watching the sea lions at K-Dock
retail space at the PIER 39 pop-up space
multiple tables set up with exhibit items in the pop-up space

Getting Here

PIER 39 is located at Beach Street & The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California.

You can find The Marine Mammal Center’s staff and volunteers at K-Dock, the sea lion haul-out area located in the northwest corner of PIER 39. To reach the temporary pop-up experience, take the stairs located just above K-Dock.

Learn more about driving directions, parking information and public transportation options.

a volunteer at PIER 39 interacts with a visitor

Volunteer at PIER 39

You can play a vital role in advancing global ocean conservation by inspiring PIER 39 visitors to better appreciate the ocean and help protect the animals that live in it. Center volunteers at PIER 39 engage with guests outside at K-Dock as well as inside the conservation education and retail space, rotating through docent stations interpreting animal behavior, answering questions and assisting with retail purchases. Before volunteering, you’ll receive specialized training on sea lion natural history, conservation topics and best practices for engaging visitors.

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Sea Lion Spot Coming Soon!

The Marine Mammal Center’s Sea Lion Spot, a state-of-the-art exhibit and retail space located at PIER 39 above the sea lion haul-out area, is slated to open in spring 2024. This immersive experience will allow visitors to engage in a world of wonder beneath the waves and learn about the amazing animals that call San Francisco home.

From multi-sensory exhibits to interactive touchscreens, the innovative design of the conservation education space will emphasize the interconnectedness of sea lion health, ocean health and human health. Visitors will be encouraged to join the conservation conversation and pledge to take action in their own lives. The accompanying retail experience will be focused on sustainable goods, with all proceeds supporting the Center’s mission of global ocean conservation.

The Marine Mammal Center welcomes corporate partners, foundations and private donors interested in sponsoring the Sea Lion Spot. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

artist rendering of Sea Lion Spot exhibits
artist rendering of Sea Lion Spot exhibits

Have Questions?

Need help planning your visit? We are here to help. Email or see our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

visit, PIER 39, California sea lions, K-Dock, conservation education