Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121 sstone@calacademy.org
Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123

EXPLORE OUR OCEANS: CELEBRATE WORLD OCEANS DAY
WITH THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Dip into a suite of special programs and events from June 4-16, 2009 to celebrate this international event.

SAN FRANCISO (May 13, 2009) – Although they cover more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface and are critically important to the health of our global ecosystem, the oceans are some of the least explored and most threatened places on our planet. In light of this, the United Nations issued an official resolution this spring designating June 8, 2009 as the first annual World Oceans Day. The Academy's scientists - and its thousands of aquatic residents - will help visitors celebrate this international event with a suite of special programs from June 4-16, 2009.

The festivities, which include sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations, a beach clean-up, costumed stilt-walkers, animal feeding shows, lectures, and the launch of a new online forum for sharing ideas about ocean protection, are designed to help visitors explore the amazing biodiversity of our oceans and find ways to help protect this valuable resource. Please see specific program listings and details below.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 4
NightLife, featuring Plastiki and David de Rothschild
6:00 - 10:00 pm

Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors from 6-10 pm for NightLife, a chance for adults to explore the museum in a whole new light. This week, environmentalist David de Rothschild will give two lectures (at 7:30 and 8:30 pm) about his upcoming voyage across the Pacific in a 60-foot vessel constructed entirely of recycled materials, mostly plastic water bottles. The point of this endeavor? To not only continue encouraging the world to focus on reducing, reusing and recycling more of its natural resources, but ultimately to think smart by re-thinking waste as a resource. During the voyage, de Rothschild will navigate through a man-made disaster called the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating landfill located between California and Hawaii that’s twice the size of Texas. The Academy will debut a new "Science in Action" film about the upcoming voyage during the event. As always, visitors can also dance to one of San Francisco's most popular DJs, enjoy food and cocktails, and mingle with the like-minded while exploring the Academy’s world-class exhibits and meeting aquarium critters. NightLife is for those ages 21 and over; a valid ID is required for entry. Admission is $10 for non-member adults, $8 for members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 6
World Oceans Day Festival
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Explore the beauty of the oceans by coming face-to-face with thousands of aquatic animals in the Academy's aquarium displays. While you wander, keep an eye out for giant jellyfish and octopi - costumed stilt-walkers will be roaming the Academy's halls. And be sure to visit the 50-foot-long "Salmon Tent" in the Academy's west garden, where kids can listen to salmon-themed stories and learn about the plight of these beautiful fish. Throughout the day, Academy scientists will be conducting ocean-related research in the Research Lab, which features windows that allow visitors to watch them at work, and the Naturalist Center will host ocean-themed educational activities. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.
 
Teens Talk Books: Underwater Explorations
11:00 am

Whether facing a great white shark, chasing orcas near Vancouver, or swimming with hordes of hammerheads in the Sea of Cortez, Peter Benchley (author of Jaws) shares his many underwater adventures in the book Shark Life: True Stories about Sharks and the Sea. Join a teenage discussion of Shark Life and its insights into shark biology, safe swimming practices, and ocean conservation. Free with Academy admission, but an RSVP is required as seating is limited; to RSVP, call 415-379-5494. Education Classroom at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 7
Beach Clean-Up
10:00 am - Noon

Join volunteers from the Academy, OceanHealth.Org, and Surfrider at Ocean Beach for the annual World Oceans Day beach cleanup. Enjoy the surf and sand while helping to clean this beautiful stretch of beach. Bring your own reusable gloves if you have them, but gear will be provided. Prizes will be awarded to the person who finds the strangest piece of marine trash, as well as to the participant who gathers the most garbage during the event. Meet at the Judah Street entrance to Ocean Beach along the Great Highway in San Francisco. Check in between 9:30 am - 10:00 am. Severe weather or rain cancels the event. For more details and to RSVP, visit www.oceandaysf.org or email eli@oceanhealth.org.
 
Banana Slugs String Band
2:00 - 3:30 pm

Join in the musical fun as the award-winning Banana Slug String Band - Doug Dirt, Airy Larry, Solar Steve and Marine Mark - bring out their latest collection of earth-loving songs about understanding and caring for our oceans and watersheds. As Slug fans across the country know, the Banana Slugs' music is contagious. Children can't help singing, dancing and laughing along...all while learning important science concepts. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 8
Farallones Webcam Launch
Log on at www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones

Just in time for the first annual World Oceans Day, the first ever webcam on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge will go live on June 8 at www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones. Powered by solar energy and perched on a windswept lighthouse on top of Southeast Farallon Island, the webcam will provide an unprecedented view of the seabirds, seals, and possibly even sharks that call these isolated islands home. The live webcam feed will be accompanied by animal identification guides, Farallones history, and research and conservation information. This exciting new initiative is made possible through a cooperative partnership between the California Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and PRBO Conservation Science.

 

THURSDAY, JUNE 11
NightLife, featuring the San Francisco Sustainable Seafood Alliance
6:00 - 10:00 pm

Every Thursday night, the Academy opens its doors from 6-10 pm for NightLife, a chance for adults to explore the museum in a whole new light. This week, the Academy and its partners in the San Francisco Sustainable Seafood Alliance are pulling out all the stops to encourage visitors to make sustainable seafood choices. Local celebrity chefs will whip up tasty treats during sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations, industry experts will participate in a panel discussion about the state of our fisheries, and we’ll host a screening of "The End of the Line," a new film about overfishing that received rave reviews at Sundance. As always, visitors can also dance to one of San Francisco's most popular DJs, enjoy food and cocktails, and mingle with the like-minded while exploring the Academy’s world-class exhibits and meeting aquarium critters. NightLife is for those ages 21 and over; a valid ID is required for entry. Admission is $10 for non-member adults, $8 for members. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org/nightlife.

 

TUESDAY, JUNE 16
Bookworms: Why Do Oceans Matter?
An Adult Book Group
6:30 pm

The adult book group will discuss Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by noted marine biologist Sylvia Earle. Sea Change is both a plea for ocean conservation and a very personal story of Earle's lifelong exploration of the deep sea. Free with Academy admission, but an RSVP is required as seating is limited; to RSVP, call 415-379-5494. Naturalist Center at the California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park.

 

EVERY DAY IN JUNE
Share Your Ideas
Log on at www.calacademy.org/share

In honor of the first official World Oceans Day, the Academy has launched a new forum for sharing ideas about how to help protect one of the most valuable resources on our planet. The site allows visitors to create and upload video messages and drawings, or browse and rate suggestions posted by others, including Academy scientists. The ocean supports us every day. Share your ideas for returning the favor here.
 
Penguin Feedings
Daily at 10:30 am & 3:30 pm

The Academy's African penguins are always especially animated during meal time. Watch the birds dip and dive in their tank at the end of African Hall as a biologist dons a wet suit and hands out vitamin-stuffed herring and capelin. Each feeding takes 10 minutes, and questions are encouraged. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Coral Reef Dives
Daily at 11:30 am & 2:30 pm

Watch as a diver suits up in SCUBA gear and plunges into the world’s deepest living coral reef exhibit. Outfitted with an underwater microphone, the diver will answer all of your reef-related questions. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.
 
Lagoon Feeding
Every Tuesday and Thursday in June at 1:30 pm

Join the Academy's shallow reef residents for lunch at the Mangrove Lagoon. Watch and ask questions as a biologist feeds vitamin-stuffed fish to the sharks and doles out a special diet of chopped clams, shrimp, squid and fish to the rays. Free with Academy admission. California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park. (415) 379-8000. www.calacademy.org.