April 12, 2013
The Aquarium will kick off the summer with its fourth annual Urban Ocean Festival on May 4 and 5. Celebrating the unique Southern California coast and ocean, the Urban Ocean Festival features an art contest and exhibition, poetry contest, the Trashin’ Fashion Show and Contest, live music, and exhibit enhancements that help visitors learn more about how humans and marine life interact with the urban ocean. The Southern California Bight, the section of the coastline that extends from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, is home to more than 20 million people, as well as a rich abundance of marine life, ecologically important natural places used by both humans and marine life, and migration thoroughfares for whales, seabirds, and other animals.
The Urban Ocean Poetry Contest will feature poems with an ocean theme and honor poets in three age brackets: high schoolers (ninth to twelfth graders), young adults (ages eighteen to twenty-five), and adults (age twenty-six and up). A special Urban Ocean Poetry Cruise, featuring readings of the winning poems, will be held on Saturday, May 4, at 4:00 p.m.
The Urban Ocean Art Contest will award prizes for ocean-themed artwork in three categories: painting/drawing, digital/photography, and sculpture/3D/mixed media. Past years’ art contests have attracted diverse local artists whose artwork presented unusual images of the ocean and humans’ relationship to it.
The Trashin’ Fashion Show and Contest continues to grow in popularity year after year, bringing young designers to show off their skills. The contest features clothing designs made out of recycled materials. Designs are showcased on the runway with live music during the festival on Sunday, May 5.
The Aquarium will be offering the Urban Ocean: World Port and Sealife Cruise throughout the summer, allowing the public to get up close to the urban ocean environment and see portions of the local ports, breakwater area, and harbors that are not easily seen. Cruises will be held June 15, July 13, August 10, and September 7, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Urban Ocean Dinner Cruise, exclusively for Aquarium members, will be held on Friday, July 19, at 7:00 p.m. The cruise will be guided by commentary from an Aquarium educator and an experienced boat captain, and passengers will enjoy a gourmet dinner and a tour of the Long Beach urban ocean at sunset. Reservations for this cruise are required by July 16. Call (562) 437-FISH (3474) to RSVP.
Aquarium visitors can learn more about current science relating to our local urban ocean at the Aquarium’s ongoing lecture series. Speakers addressing urban ocean issues in coming months include Jesus Reyes, who will discuss endocrine disruptors in the ocean; Ron Carroll, who will discuss artificial wetlands and their use in treating wastewater; and Eric Zahn, who will discuss restoration efforts at the Los Cerritos Wetlands.