Mark your calendars for this Saturday, which is designated as Underwater Parks Day.
Now in its 5th year, Underwater Parks Day is a coordinated event by aquaria and marine science centers throughout Southern California to celebrate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and educate the public about the statewide network of MPAs and the need for these special “Underwater Parks.”
The date was chosen because one of the best times to experience California’s ocean at its finest is during the first month of the year. In addition, California’s new network of over 100 underwater parks was completed just last December, and they have planned activities and celebrations throughout the California coast at state beaches, aquaria, and nature centers. It’s perfect for kids and adults to enjoy a day surrounded by sea life and learn more about the benefits of protecting California’s prime ocean habitats.
Some events you may spot include grey whales traveling south along the coast to lagoons in Baja, California where they will give birth to calves. Some preemies and their mothers are already showing up off the coast of Los Angeles and San Diego, a total plus for whale watchers.
Further north, male elephant seals are engaging in their spectacular, violent mating rituals, while females are giving birth to a new generation of pups. Exciting stuff!
So, come learn about MPAs and why they are important to help sustain, conserve, and protect marine life populations, habitats, and ecosystems. Speakers, presentations, kid-friendly activities, short films, and arts and craft projects will be available at most locations. Visitors will learn more about the Marine Life Protection Act and the process that aims to conserve and improve California coastal marine resources.
To find an event near you in Southern (San Diego to Santa Barbara), Central (Morro Bay to Santa Cruz) and Northern California (San Francisco to Arcata), go to www.caloceans.org.