Project Overview

Aquarium of the Bay

San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay is a public aquarium located on Pier 39 in the historic Fisherman’s Wharf District. It houses over 24,000 marine animals and focuses on education, global ocean conservation, and inspiring climate resilience. A Smithsonian Affliate, the Aquarium has hosted millions of visitors for over 20 years.

The Aquarium first approached Clearinghouse CDFI in March 2020 after closing its doors due to COVID-19. In a record two weeks, Clearinghouse CDFI was able to approve, process, and underwrite $1 million in emergency financing to help the Aquarium meet its working capital needs.

As the pandemic continued, and public venues were forced to remain closed, CCDFI was able to assist Aquarium of the Bay again with over $5 million in additional financing. CCDFI’s second loan allowed the Aquarium to pay or existing debt and continue funding daily operations, including payroll, supplies, and animal care.


Aquarium of the Bay


Aquarium of the Bay

Loan Amount



Clearinghouse CDFI Loans Preserve Aquarium Operations and Help Safeguard Over 24,000 Marine Animals

The Impact


animals saved


daily operations: animal care,
payroll, and needed supplies.

“23 weeks of shelter-in-place has been devastating for our nonprofit aquarium. Despite choked revenue streams, we still have to care for 24,000 live animals and operate shifts to maintain life support systems and allied protocols. Clearinghouse CDFI has been extraordinary. Their teamwork, commitment, and compassion for our mission has been heartwarming.”

– George Jacob, President & CEO, Bay Ecotarium (Aquarium of the Bay)