Wildlife Photographer to Reveal Beauty, Importance of Southern California Ocean


Guest Speaker: Marc Shargel
Date: Monday, March 15, 2010
Location: Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Cost: $5
NOTE: This event has sold out.

Discover the beauty of Southern California's underwater world and learn about the importance of marine protected areas at a special presentation March 15 at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Marc Shargel, an award-winning wildlife photographer and author, will present his new book, Wonders of the Sea Volume Two: Marine Jewels of Southern California's Coast and Islands. The book showcases areas of environmental importance currently being considered for designation as marine protected areas under the California Marine Life Protection Act.

Shargel's presentation is part of Birch Aquarium at Scripps' efforts to increase awareness about a critical statewide decision-making process under way that will determine where to place marine protected areas. In collaboration with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Ocean Institute and Aquarium of the Pacific, Birch Aquarium at Scripps is offering presentations, outdoor excursions, hands-on activities and online learning resources aimed at educating visitors about marine protected areas.

Shargel will discuss the making of his new book, from nearly three decades of stunning underwater photography in the region to his research into the historic abundance and exploitation of Southern California marine life. Wonders of the Sea Volume Two presents photographs taken by Shargel and more than a dozen of Southern California's best underwater and landscape shooters. Also included in the book are first-hand stories of residents' strong personal connections to the region's ocean and a series of historical sections with eye-opening archival photos and accounts from past centuries. Following the presentation, Shargel will sign copies of the book, which will be available for purchase.

A longtime advocate for the adoption of marine reserves, Shargel has testified before regulatory panels, given speeches to civic groups about the importance of protecting the ocean 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 southern central coast.

The Marine Life Protection Act, passed by California legislators in 1999, directs the state to redesign California's 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. Southern California's Blue Ribbon Task Force, which sought advice from a team of scientists as well as local stakeholders, recently submitted its recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission on how to protect areas along the coast.

For more information about the Marine Life Protection Act, visit aquarium.ucsd.edu. For more information about Marc Shargel and Wonders of the Sea Volume Two, visit www.livingseaimages.com.

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 welcomes an annual attendance of more than 400,000 visitors, including 45,000 school children.

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