Aquarium provides knowledge and fun

Living in the South Bay area comes with many privileges including feeling the gentle sea breeze, witnessing the sun sink into the ocean and noting the varied marine life. Despite the advantages and the proximity of the ocean, few locals know much about the ocean.

In an effort to promote knowledge and preservation of the marine life found in oceans of the South Bay, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro provides the opportunity for the public to enjoy and learn about the aquatic life.

Given the proximity of the ocean, Chuck Herzig, oceonagraphy professor, said he believes that students should be more knowledgeable of the ocean life and how it affects humans.

“The ocean sustains us because without it, there would be no life,” Herzig said. “I think students can learn that there is life in the ocean, it is accessible, it is not scary and there are a lot of beautiful, exciting and interesting things there.”

Jim Noyes, oceanography professor, agreed that the ocean plays a fundamental role in influencing our lives. He reinforces the fact that major parts of our food supply, gas and climate come from the ocean.

Currently, oceonagraphy students take field trips to the aquarium to experience what they learn in theory.

At the aquarium, students get the opportunity to learn hands-on.

“If they (the students) don’t have interest in the ocean, it gets used and misused,” oceanography professor Lynn Fielding said.

The aquarium offers various features and exhibits which are divided into sections. Among these features are the “touch tank,” the open ocean home to the jellyfish, the Aquatic Nursery and the Sandy Beach Wave Tank.

The Sandy Beach Wave Tank allows the public to witness the shifting and moving of the tides and waves.

“Most students haven’t been there; there are many exhibits, a wonderful wave tank, a great display on kelp and it helps tie everything we talk about in (oceanography,)” Fielding said.

The aquarium also offers various events throughout the year that the public may enjoy. Among the annual events are the Autumn Sea Fair, Adopt-A-Beach Day and the Whale Fiesta.

“Whale watching, tadpole trips and special lectures are some of the events that take place,” Fielding said.

An upcoming event taking place at the aquarium is the Grand Grunion Gala on Saturday May 8, where the port of L. A. will be honored with the John M. Olguin Marine Environment Award for the port’s dedication to restoring the San Pedro Harbor.

The port will also be honored for supporting the activities at the aquarium.

For those students interested in volunteering at the aquarium, it offers and encourages various volunteering opportunities.

Students may help by becoming tour guides for children, teaching about the ocean, or serving on several committees.

“I volunteer on the weekends occasionally,” Noyes said. “I’m involved in the C Rangers, where we educate people, have tidepool walks and talk to fishermen about pollutants in the water.”

The aquarium is located on the shore of Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro and offers free entrance to the public.

However, a $5 donation for adults and $1 for children is suggested.

The aquarium is opened daily, except Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I think it’s a great place to visit for families and children both,” Noyes said. “It is a great opportunity for all.”

-Upcoming Events-


27 Saturday

Science at the Seashore

It’s a Slimy World

30 Tuesday

American Cetacean Society lecture

31 Wednesday

Science at the Seashore lab