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Posts Tagged ‘Underwater Parks Day’

State Park Thursday: Celebrating California’s Underwater Parks at the Sea Life Aquarium and Beyond

January 13th, 2011 by bsmith | 1 Comment | Filed in California State Parks, Sea Life Aquarium, Uncategorized

A little known fact about California’s State Parks is that our state has several state parks that are underwater!  These have been set up to preserve the ecological and cultural heritage of California’s marine areas.  Once California’s Coastline was teaming with sea life and our economy benefited from it.  Whether sardines in Monterey or California lobsters in San Diego, the fisherman reaped the bounty of California’s waters.  A few months ago I had the opportunity to view a You Tube lecture by UC  San Diego Researcher Dr. Milton Saier on “Our Oceans: a History of San Diego Sea Life”.  The entire lecture is twenty minutes, but even in the first few minutes Saier gives a powerful description of the tremendous impact that over fishing has had on the San Diego Bay.

These protected park areas also include historical artifacts like shipwrecks and Native American midden sites.  Divers  are encourage to respectfully  explore these underwater historical wonders.  Look, but don’t touch!

California’s Underwater Parks are protected areas for fragile marine ecosystems.  Visitors can still swim, surf, and dive in these areas, but fishing may be restricted.  If you visit and plan to fish be sure to research  the rules of that particular area.  Families should take care to respect these protected marine  areas by  observing the animals without removing them from tidepools , staying off the dunes, respecting historical sites, and packing their trash.

Building a Lego Sand Castle, Sea Life Aquarium Carlsbad, Ca

This Saturday the Legoland California Sea Life Aquarium is celebrating “Underwater Parks Day” to educate families about California’s underwater parks.  Kids will have a chance to create their very own marine habitat to take home.  Families can attend a mini Conservation Expo and interact with local marine protection organizations including  I Love a Clean San Diego, San Diego Coast Keeper, and the San Diego Oceans Foundation.  Be sure to catch the 11 am dive show and learn about San Diego’s Underwater Parks from a Sealife diver!

Artist Teresea Espaniola who created the amazing mural that you see above in collaboration with the students of Jefferson Elementary School will have her “garbage art” on display.  Ms. Espaniola does amazing collage/paintings to raise awareness about the impact of marine trash.  If you can’t make it to the aquarium be sure to visit her gartbage site and take a look.

Last  night I was reading Sweet Thursday the sequel to Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.  What I love about Steinbeck is that his deep understanding of America and Americans made him a something of a prophet.  So many things that he predicted for our country ring true today.  I leave you with this quote the stresses the need for protected areas off of our California shores and gives us something to think about in terms of other ways that we impact our environment.

The canneries themselves fought the war by getting the limit taken off fish and catching them all.  It was done for patriotic reasons, but that didn’t bring the fish back.  As with the oysters in Alice, “They’d eaten every one”.  It was the same noble impulse that stripped the forests of the West and right now is pumping water out of California’s earth faster than it can rain back in.  When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten.  The pearl-gray canneries of corrugated iron were silent and a pacing watchman was their only life.  The street that once roared with trucks was quiet and empty.

We have a lot to learn from the ecological mistakes of the past.  Let’s teach our children to respect California’s Underwater Parks so these marine treasures can be shared with generations to come!

Happy Trails,

Bridget

Family Adventure Guidebooks participates in Trekaroo’s Spotlight Thursdays.  This week Trekaroo is featuring activities that honor Dr. Martin Luther King throughout the US.  I am hoping to honor Dr. King’s Legacy this month with some posts on how to use travel to teach kids about the roots of racism as well as attending an event at the library.   How will your family honor Dr. King this month?

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