Terranea Blog

Terranea BlogJul29

Terranea Resort to Make a Big Splash with Marineland of the Pacific Reunion

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, Terranea Resort will pay special tribute to its historical location with the first Marineland Reunion.  Partnering with Pacific Beach Life, Terranea is proud to welcome back former Marineland employees, along with residents and people with fond memories of the marine park, many of whom have not been back to the property since the park closed nearly 24 years ago...

The reunion will be the first gathering of former employees on the Marineland property since the park closed on Feb 11, 1987. 

“We’re thrilled to have the Marineland Reunion at Terranea. We have an awesome responsibility to this beautiful and historic site and the Resort was painstakingly developed to care for this irreplaceable land,” said Terri Haack, managing director of Terranea Resort.  “A visit to Rancho Palos Verdes and Terranea is a journey to the Southern California lifestyle of a bygone era – epitomized by Marineland - that emphasizes an appreciation and reverence for casual outdoor living and respect for nature.”

Activities throughout the day will include:

  • A guided walk  illustrating Marineland places of interest
  • A Sea lion release on the Beach with the Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC)
  • A Special Marineland Happy Hour at Nelson’s restaurant
  • A Nelson’s themed dinner in the Marineland Ballroom
  • Fund raiser/silent auction
  • Music from the Bone Daddy’s
  • Presentations by former Marineland employees

Price for the event is $80.00 per person.  Visit Pacificbeachlife.com to register and purchase tickets – bring the family and spend the day.   Special room rates are available starting at $205 per night.  Visit www.terranea.com and enter the promotional code Marineland2010 to book a reservation.

Partnering with Terranea for this festive occasion is the Marine Mammal Care Center, supported by The Foundation for Marine Animal Husbandry. MMCC will be present with:

  • Informational/ Educational booth
  • Arts and crafts for kids
  • Interactive mock rescue and intake of an animal- ideal for ages 5-10 years, where experts coach kids through what it is like to do an intake on a new patient
  • “SPLASH” the Care Center’s sea lion mascot will be on hand to mingle with guests

Proceeds from the live auction will benefit the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort McArthur.


A Star-Studded Past

The popular television series Sea Hunt was filmed in black and white in and around the Terranea site when it was home to Marineland of the Pacific. The series premiered on January 4, 1958 and ended after four seasons and 155 episodes on September 23, 1961. The series was created by Ivan Tor and starred Lloyd Bridges. It is said to be the first television series that focused around underwater adventures and provided an early platform for the protection of the Earth’s resources.

Nelson’s overlooks the coves made famous almost 50 years ago by Sea Hunt and sits so close to the sea that eating any closer to the water would require a wetsuit.  Named after Sea Hunt’s main character Mike Nelson, played by Lloyd Bridges, Nelson’s is a 21st century homage to the modern surf shack as well as Bridges’ lifetime efforts to protect the environment and the ocean. From the furnishings all made of recycled materials to the centerpiece bar countertop made completely of recycled wine bottles, Nelson’s allows diners to enjoy the ocean while preserving it.


About  Marineland

In August, 1954, Marineland of the Pacific opened its doors to the public for the first time.  Located at the tip of the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles County, California, it was the largest oceanarium in the world.   Five million dollars were invested in the project to make it the most unusual cultural, educational and entertainment center on the Pacific Coast. 

Selection of the 90-acre site was influenced by the great natural beauty of the Portuguese Bend area on Palos Verdes Peninsula and its adjacency to the Pacific Ocean, where most of the undersea life was displayed in the huge tanks.  The land has an intriguing background historically.  The estate once was a part of a Spanish land grant which was called Rancho San Pedro and which was awarded to Juan Jose Dominguez in 1784 by the Spanish Governor Don Pedro Fages.  Prior to that, Portuguese, Spanish and occasional British adventurers often anchored in its sheltered coves. 

Colorful pages out of history tell of whalers who used its beaches for reducing the oil from whales captured in the vicinity as the huge mammals migrated annually to what is now San Diego Harbor and to the lagoons on the coast of Baja California to bear their young.  The waters off Marineland, now known as Catalina Channel, also saw frigates flying the skull and crossbones, and smugglers of animal hides doing a thriving business in the coves and caves of the peninsula.  One of the larger smugglers' caves can still be seen in the cliffs near the former Marineland pier just south of the property. 

Marineland was sold and closed in 1986 when acquired by Sea World in San Diego (which had opened in 1964).


About The Foundation for Marine Animal Husbandry

A qualified 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.  All funds raised through the Foundation for Marine Animal Husbandry directly benefit the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur.

The Marine Mammal Care Center is a hospital for sick, injured and orphaned marine mammals, primarily seals and sea lions.   The Care Center is one of the busiest facilities in the country and treats upwards of 500 patients each calendar year.  The staff and volunteers see a variety of patients during the busy spring season, primarily California sea lions and northern elephant seals.  Due to the severity of their illnesses and injuries many of these animals have required extended stays and rehabilitation. 

Not only does the Care Center provide treatment for Los Angeles County’s marine mammals, but it also has a multi faceted educational program, part of which is in conjunction with Los Angeles Unified School District. For information on visiting hours or how to donate, please call 310.548.5677 

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