Future Opportunities

For winter break 2015, I have already booked a trip to Monterey, California.  There I am going to do many sustainability-related things, including visiting Año Nuevo State Park to see colonies of Northern Elephant Seals, Scuba Diving in the Kelp Forests of Monterey Bay, and visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, which tries hard to educate as many people as they can for the sustainability of our oceans.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an incredibly successful aquarium. Millions of people visit it every year.  The aquarium is in fact the only aquarium to ever successfully keep a Great White Shark.  The Shark was caught as by catch, but instead of killing her, they put her into the aquarium, where she lived for about 7 months.  I was fortunate enough to see her in her full beauty nine years ago when she was on exhibit.  Unfortunately, when she started eating the other sharks in the tank, the keepers could only release her into the wild.  She is currently roaming the depths of Monterey Bay, now a top predator, only rivaled by the Orca.  The Great White Shark is one of many endangered animals that the Aquarium has showcased. Other species include the Sea Otter, which the Aquarium has been breeding for decades.

The main highlight I am looking forward to seeing in Monterey is the Elephant Seal Colonies in Año Nuevo State Park. I am going at the peak season for when the males go into brutal fights to take the head of all the females on the beach. While Elephant Seals are not currently endangered, their number were depleted in the early twentieth century. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now tens of thousands of Northern Elephant Seals dominating North America’s West Coast.  This is a big conservational success story, comparable to the likes of the American Alligator and the American Bison, both of which are in the same predicament.

Another highlight is me going to go scuba diving in the Kelp Forests, where I hope to see many types of animals there, including some of my favorites, the Shovelnose Guitarfish, a type of Ray with a Shark’s tail (imagine a sawfish without a saw. That’s a Guitarfish). I also hope to see Sea Lions, Sea Otters, and many types of fish.

 

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One comment

  1. rogerwleblanc · December 3, 2015

    Andrew, thanks so much for sharing this post and teaching us more about this aquarium and the animals there. I am glad to hear you have an amazing winter break trip ahead of you! Very cool that you can use your break to learn more about sustainability and your conservation interests.

    Like

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