Visitor Policies


Ocean Institute Visitor Policies  

Welcome to the Ocean Institute. The Ocean Institute strives to provide a thought-provoking and inspiriting visit where guests can enjoy hands-on experiences, exhibits, and living collections. We appreciate your understanding of, and cooperation with these policies, which have been established to maintain a safe and considerate atmosphere for all guests, staff, volunteers, and animals at the Ocean Institute.  


Please refrain from running, screaming, or generally disruptive behavior. We ask you to respect our exhibits, facilities, artifacts and animals, as well as the experience of other visitors. Courteous, respectful behavior is expected of all guests to ensure an informative and positive learning experience. Please follow all official posted signs and the instructions of Ocean Institute staff and volunteers.  

Prohibited Behavior  

Engaging in these behaviors may result in your removal from the Ocean Institute with no refund. Violations perceived as criminal will be reported to local authorities.  

  • Offensive, abusive or threatening language or behavior towards other guests and/or OI staff. 
  • Fighting, provoking a fight, or engaging in disorderly or boisterous conduct.
  • Tampering with, defacing, damaging, destroying and/or removing Ocean Institute property including exhibits, artifacts and animals.  
  • Wearing or otherwise displaying profane, obscene or injurious language, texts, or graphics on clothing or elsewhere on the person. 
  • Unauthorized distribution of pamphlets or any other literature.  
  • Intentionally interfering with or preventing the execution of duties by Ocean Institute staff or volunteers.  
  • Loitering, gambling, selling, soliciting, or campaigning.  
  • Possession, use and/or selling of illegal drugs anywhere on Ocean Institute property, including the parking lot.  
  • Possession of alcoholic beverages not sold on our premises and in designated areas during events.
  • Indecent exposure, sexual acts or behavior.  
  • Smoking (including e-cigarettes) inside the Ocean Institute including its labs, vessels, parking lot, and/or within 15 feet of Ocean Institute’s entrances.  
  • Eating and/or drinking in exhibits, labs, and other designated prohibited areas.  
  • Bringing any prohibited items (listed below).  
  • Any other behavior determined by Ocean Institute staff to threaten the safety of Ocean Institute guests, staff, volunteers, property, and/or animals.  

Prohibited Items 

  • Firearms (law enforcement and on-duty security personnel excepted)  
  • Weapons, including knives, pepper spray and stun guns/tasers  
  • Hazardous materials of any kind  
  • Explosives, including fireworks  
  • Wagons 
  • Coolers 
  • Drones 
  • Tripods and other professional photography equipment (without prior approval)  
  • Any other items deemed by OI staff to be dangerous or inappropriate in a public setting 
  • Balloons 
  • Confetti/Glitter  

Adult Supervision  

Minor children may not be left unattended. All guests under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while visiting the Ocean Institute, without exception, and will not be admitted without adult accompaniment.  


Shoes and shirts are required for all guests visiting the Ocean Institute. Certain events, such as tidepool hikes, may have a specific dress code which will be listed in the event description.  

Photography and Video  

Any video, photographs and/or recordings taken on Ocean Institute property, including vessels, shall be for private, noncommercial use only. Please review our professional photography policies for commercial use.  

Additional Policies  

The Ocean Institute reserves the right to add, withdraw, or otherwise modify these terms and other policies it deems to be in its best interest.