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Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum to open new Warden Aquarium

Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum to open new Warden Aquarium on on January 5, after several years of planning and a year of construction.

The interpretation of the Sonoran Desert region would be incomplete without recognizing the importance of the fresh water rivers that flow through it and the Sonoran Sea, more commonly known as the Sea of Cortez or Gulf of California.

The aquarium exhibition, “Rivers to the Sea”, will highlight the roles of the region’s rivers, including the mighty Colorado, and the Gulf of California. The 1,100 sq. ft. aquarium will house two galleries: one highlighting the region’s freshwater rivers and aquatic life and the other featuring the Sea of Cortez and representative sea life.

The Sea of Cortez is extremely diverse containing one of the world’s smallest and most endangered marine mammals, the vaquita, a rare type of porpoise, migratory whales that no longer migrate, over 800 types of fish, five species of sea turtles, and the little-known American crocodile. In addition to the varied species of wildlife, the Sea of Cortez provides much of the moisture for the region’s summer rains which have tremendously influenced vegetation on the terrestrial part of the Sonoran Desert Region.

Although visits to the Warden Aquarium are included in the General Admission price, capacity is limited. To mitigate overcrowding, there will be 15 viewing times daily with viewing times assigned to visitors, upon arrival, on a first-come, first-served basis. Or visitors have the option of paying $5 for a confirmed viewing time reservation. –