"Our objective is to create a program that's a blast for kids, while giving them knowledge of and appreciation for the oceans," explains S.E.A. Camp's Program Director, Rachel Saunders. The year-round residential nature of S.E.A. Camp will enable children to learn by doing, living, and experiencing it for themselves. It will also serve as an ideal setting for teacher training programs.
The summer 2000 program will involve selected classes and teachers from 5th through 8th grade, participating in a series of one-week sessions. "This will be a pilot that we'll use to evaluate the program before we open to the public in the summer of 2001," Saunders says. S.E.A. Camp is currently based at California State University Monterey Bay. A permanent base camp is still in the works.
S.E.A. Camp is working with UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory in developing curriculum, which will also be used at the Lab's new Seymour Marine Discovery Center. "This is a collaborative project," explains Saunders. "Curriculum development is just one example; we have an awesome collection of world-class marine institutions around the bay and we want to work with them to bring their resources to the campers." S.E.A. Camp has completed a strategic plan and received partial startup funding from the California Coastal Commission, Sea Grant, NOAA, and the Community Foundation for Monterey County.
"As we move into the next century, demands on the ocean are mounting and coastal and marine resource management is becoming more complex," Saunders says. "S.E.A. Camp responds to a national need to provide students with the knowledge and tools to tackle these issues. In partnership with NOAA, we hope it will serve as a model for a national program."
Santa Cruz Task Force: Working
For A "Sanctuary Scenic Trail"
The Task Force was created in 1994 by Santa Cruz area agencies to examine ways to forge links between economic opportunities and educational awareness about the Sanctuary. A study funded by the group proposed several projects, including a countywide coastal trail and improving access to waterfront areas. The scenic trail project is the first to take off. The idea for a scenic trail around the area is not new; Santa Cruz County had considered such a plan in the early 1990s but it never came to fruition.
"The trail will feature both art and interpretive information," says John Akeman of Santa Cruz County's Planning Department. The artist who has been hired to do a demonstration trail project, Leslie Stone, also designed the David Packard Memorial in San Carlos Park in Monterey and has done projects in Morro Bay and Yosemite. "Like the Packard Memorial, we envision three-dimensional interpretive displays in addition to standard signs," Akeman explains.
Development of the trail system is proceeding in three phases. The first, a plan outlining the overall interpretive program, has just been approved by the Sanctuary Scenic Trail subcommittee. The second phase will feature mock designs. Finally, a short demonstration element will be completed and displayed at one or more key locations &endash; possibly as early as this fall.
Duke Energy Funds New Sanctuary
This new map follows on the heels of "The Grand Canyon of Monterey Bay," the Foundation's first poster, which has been a big success. These and other Foundation educational products help generate greater public awareness of the Sanctuary.
The map was funded by a $20,000 donation by Duke Energy Power Services. It will be distributed free to schools in the region. (Please see article about the Foundation on page 5.)
Educational Outreach to
Businesses about Urban Runoff
"We have conducted over 100 one-on-one interviews with restaurant managers, to talk about simple steps they can take to improve water quality, distribute the posters, and learn what programs they think will help educate their employees," explains the Sanctuary's Maris Sidenstecker. "They have been very receptive to the idea of reducing urban runoff."
The idea for this program comes from a storm drain monitoring program jointly run by the City and the Sanctuary. Monitors saw consistently high detergent levels along Cannery Row and suspected that restaurants might be washing off kitchen mats directly into the storm drains. "Because of our outreach, we expect to see improvement this summer in the water quality data from these sources," says Sidenstecker.
For more information on this outreach, contact Maris Sidenstecker at (831) 647-4216.
Local Business Owner Funds
Sanctuary Interpretive Signs
Over the past several years Miller has donated funding to fabricate several interpretive signs. Created in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the signs focus on the Sanctuary and its many uses &endash; emphasizing the importance of caring for the ocean. The 4' x 5' signs (as shown above), featuring engaging graphics of the Sanctuary, are located around the Sanctuary.
Sanctuary Celebration and Shark
Festival in Santa Cruz
For further information, call Lisa McGinnis at (831) 420-5270 or look at the Wharf's web site, at: http://www.santacruzwharf.com/events.html
Friends of the Elephant Seal: a
Piedras Blancas Success Story
FES recently trained its third class of volunteers and now has more than eighty docents working at the Piedras Blancas vista points seven days a week. Docents greet visitors and answer their questions about the elephant seals and other features of the beach environment. Fully equipped with binoculars, field guides, and cell phones, the docents also perform other services for visitors. "We do it all," says Kathy Brown, an experienced docent, "from giving directions, summoning help for travelers with car trouble, and recommending hotels to picking up trash at the vista points."
Since FES began in November 1997, human harassment of elephant seals has declined substantially and the viewing experience has been greatly enhanced. According to FES Docent Coordinator Susan McDonald, docents spoke with more than 23,000 visitors in the first four months of 1999 alone.
On May 3, FES opened an office and visitor center in the Cavalier Plaza in San Simeon, in space generously donated by the Mike Hanchett family. FES shares the office portion of the space with the San Simeon Chamber of Commerce. Helen Leopold of the Chamber reports that the Chamber now gets more calls asking about the elephant seals than it does about Hearst Castle.
FES docents are a creative and prolific group. In June FES will publish a new book on the elephant seals written and illustrated by docents Phil and Carole Adams. Also under way is a video documentary on the Piedras Blancas colony by FES volunteers Brian and Kerri Caserio. Another team of FES docents, led by docent and board member Elizabeth Packard, is preparing a portable education program to acquaint school children with the northern elephant seals and the Sanctuary.
For more information on the Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony, or to volunteer your time, contact FES at (805) 924-1628.
The Monterey Bay Shoreline
Richly illustrated with photographs and detailed maps, the guide offers detailed information about our region's coastal parks and beaches for visitors exploring by car, bike, or on foot. Highlights include the elephant seals of Año Nuevo; surfing in Santa Cruz; the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary; and the breathtaking coastal mountains of Big Sur.
Available through the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Gift and Bookstore, or by calling toll-free (877) 665-2665.
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Last modified on: August 6,