Author to Discuss New Book about Ocean Beauty, Importance of Marine Reserves

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Guest Speaker: Marc Shargel

Date: Thursday, June 30

Time: 6:30-8 p.m.

Cost: $5

RSVP: 858-534-5771 or online.

Award-winning author and photographer Marc Shargel will return to Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, on June 30 to unveil a stunning new book that documents the beauty of California's underwater world and provides a new perspective on the creation of Marine Protected Areas along our shores.

Shargel will discuss his book, Wonders of the Sea Volume Three: Hidden Treasures of California's Far North Coast, the final installment of his journey to document the ocean's living resources along the California coast. In March 2010, Shargel presented Wonders of the Sea Volume Two: Marine Jewels of Southern California's Coast and Islands to a sold-out Birch Aquarium audience. Following the presentation, Shargel will sign copies of all three books, which will be available for purchase. The lecture continues Birch Aquarium at Scripps' efforts to increase awareness about the importance of Marine Protected Areas as well as the ongoing statewide effort to establish a new network of marine reserves along the California coast.

Shargel's photographs of animals that live in these areas offer startling testimony that the ocean is more than just a source of seafood. First-hand stories by local residents express the social, recreational, economic and even spiritual value of our ocean. A longtime advocate for marine reserves, Shargel has testified before regulatory panels, given speeches to civic groups about the importance of protecting marine life and participated in the founding of two marine conservation organizations in the Monterey Bay region. In 2005-2006, he served on the state's Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group, an advisory body that provided guidance to California's Fish and Game Commission on where to designate Marine Protected Areas along the south central coast. In Southern California, a multi-year planning process recently concluded with the Fish and Game Commission adopting regulations that will create 36 new Marine Protected Areas along our local coast. The south coast study region is the third of five state regions to complete the planning process. The regulations were adopted as part of the Marine Life Protection Act, which requires California to reevaluate and redesign its system of Marine Protected Areas to help safeguard marine life and critical habitats, marine ecosystems and marine natural heritage, as well as to improve recreational, educational and research opportunities provided by healthy marine ecosystems.

For more information about the Marine Life Protection Act, visit Birch Aquarium's website. For more information about Marc Shargel and his Wonders of the Sea series of books, visit his website.

About Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, Earth and ocean science. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 410,000, including 45,000 school children.

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