Sea Grant California exhibit at the Dockside Market.

These friendly people with Sea Grant California showed me all sorts of fascinating creatures that reside off our coast! They encourage using locally sourced food.
These friendly people with Sea Grant California showed me all sorts of fascinating creatures that thrive off our coast! They encourage using locally sourced food.

During a walk last weekend, I headed out onto the pier just north of Seaport Village where the ever-growing Tuna Harbor Dockside Market is held on Saturday mornings. In addition to the local fishermen selling a wide variety of freshly caught seafood, I noticed one table with an interesting exhibit. Folks were demonstrating a few of the many different sea creatures that can be caught off San Diego’s coast.

I learned this display was created by Sea Grant California, an organization that connects government agencies, California universities, nonprofit organizations, local businesses and residents in our coastal community. Their mission is to conduct impartial research, disseminate knowledge, encourage best practices for environmental stewardship and optimize sustainable economic development.

Lots of people on the pier were checking out the live marine creatures on display, and learning which species are most common in the Pacific Ocean off our coast. I was told that most of San Diego’s commercial fishermen are conscientious and highly responsible. There are about 131 commercial fishing vessels licensed in the county. Many are based in Tuna Harbor, which occupies a picturesque stretch of San Diego’s Embarcadero.

In addition, I learned that the Port of San Diego is testing an aquaculture project at the end of one of Tuna Harbor’s docks. The port’s Oyster Nursery Research Project is part of an expanding effort to try out new Blue Economy technologies in San Diego Bay. The concept of a Blue Economy is to use innovative methods to maximize resources that are locally available in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Very cool!

Fresh locally caught fish on ice for sale at San Diego's Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Fresh locally caught fish on ice for sale at San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
The Port of San Diego's Oyster Nursery Research Project at the end of a dock inside Tuna Harbor.
The Port of San Diego’s Oyster Nursery Research Project at the end of a dock inside Tuna Harbor.
What's for dinner?
What’s for dinner?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Cool environmental mural on Commercial Street.

Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.
Cool artwork painted by Dolan Stearns for the PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans project in 2016 depicts the harmful presence of non-biodegradable plastic trash in the oceans.

I got off the Orange Line trolley the other day to capture photos of some cool street art on Commercial Street just east of 20th Street.

Like many other PangeaSeed Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans artwork that one can spot around San Diego, this one has an environmental message about taking care of the ocean. The mural, which illustrates the harmful effects of plastic pollution on marine life, was painted in 2016 by Dolan Stearns.

The left side of the mural shows an ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The left side of the mural shows a big, ugly yellow head spewing pollution into the water.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The right side of the mural features a large pink whale.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic junk.
The three-eyed whale has a mouthful of plastic bags, bottles, cups and junk.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting trash into the blue ocean.
The yellow human head, topped by city buildings and a smokestack, vomits disgusting waste into the blue ocean.

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How to create 3D printed intertidal organisms!

Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.
Sign inside Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument describes the fascinating 3D Cabrillo project.

The Visitor Center at Cabrillo National Monument has a cool exhibit of 3D printed intertidal organisms. An explanation is provided of how the tide pool animal models were created, and shows how the general public and interested educators can easily access essential resources via a dedicated website!

Student curriculum, simple instructions and the 3D Cabrillo biomodel .STL files library (and a link to raw Autodesk files) are all found here.

For 3D Cabrillo and the particular models seen in this exhibit, free imaging software and an iPad were used to capture images of intertidal organisms preserved by La Jolla’s world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography. After models were edited on a computer using design software, they were sent to a 3D printer at the San Diego Central Library’s Innovation Lab.

This program was adapted from the Scan Our Seas project created by Dr. Andrew D. Thaler.

Do you know of any school students who’d like to learn more about marine biology, the environment and technology? This is definitely a very cool (and fun) project!

Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
Many colorfully painted 3D printed models of intertidal organisms are on display inside the Visitor Center.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Starburst Sea Anemone.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
3D printed Dorid Nudibranch.
A video explains the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
A video shows the 3D printing process, including editing the tidepool animals.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Wavy Turban Snail.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
3D printed Ochre Sea Star.
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
Students are encouraged to create nature journals. Writing is fun, too!
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Scallop.
3D printed Garibaldi.
3D printed Garibaldi.

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Natural beauty at the West Coast Shell Show!

Colorful snail shells on display at the West Coast Shell Show.
Colorful snail shells on display at the West Coast Shell Show.

On Sunday I peered into Balboa Park’s Casa del Prado and discovered a surprising exhibition open free to the public. It was the San Diego Shell Club’s amazing West Coast Shell Show!

There were so many beautiful shells covering table after table it blew my mind. Every shell, I noted, was unique and interesting, and many that I saw seemed like exquisite works of art. Nature’s abundant beauty was spread throughout the room. It seemed I had blundered into a vast treasure of spilled jewels.

When I walk along a beach, I like to search the sand for bright or colorful objects washed up by the tide. But I honestly know next to nothing about shells from molluscs on land or in the sea. So I learned a few fascinating facts during my short conversations with a friendly hobbyist and a dealer.

Among other things, I learned some shells are highly prized for their rarity and apparent perfection, and that a few can fetch many thousands of dollars. I also learned there are relatively few serious shell collectors worldwide. But those who have a passion for shells have a hobby that promises new discoveries at every turn and inexhaustible wonder.

The West Coast Shell Show was presented in Balboa Park by the San Diego Shell Club.
The West Coast Shell Show was presented in Balboa Park by the San Diego Shell Club.
Beautiful shells of all types could be enjoyed--and purchased--inside the Casa del Prado over the weekend.
Beautiful shells of all types could be enjoyed–and purchased–inside the Casa del Prado over the weekend.
A variety of different colored abalone shells were on display at the show.
A variety of different colored abalone shells were on display at the show.
A wide variety of beautiful cowry shells, a type of sea snail.
A wide variety of beautiful cowries. They almost look like polished agates to me. The cowry is a type of sea snail.
The story of shells appears to have many chapters and subplots.
The Story of Shells appears to have many chapters and pages.
The many shells seemed to me like exotic jewels, no two exactly alike.
The shells seemed like exotic jewelry or small works of art, no two exactly alike.
One display case showed a large variety of fantastic chitons. These almost look like polished wood!
One display case showed a large collection of fantastic chitons. To me these almost look like varnished wood!
Dr. Wesley M. Farmer had a table full of scientific books, plus lots of unique art he'd created concerning nudibranchs, a type of sea slug. They shed their shells after their larval stage.
Dr. Wesley M. Farmer had a table full of scientific books, plus lots of unique art he’d created concerning nudibranchs, a type of sea slug. They shed their shells after their larval stage.
All sorts of fascinating mollusc art created by Wes Farmer, including specimens made with colored oven bake clay.
All sorts of fascinating mollusc art created by Wes Farmer, including specimens made with colored oven bake clay.
The public could enjoy many amazing sights at the West Coast Shell Show!
The public could enjoy many fantastic displays at the West Coast Shell Show!

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Meet your meal on a pier!

Shoppers at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market learn about whelks and other food from the sea.
Shoppers at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market learn about whelks and other food from the sea.

Late yesterday morning I revisited the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market. It’s a place whirling with human activity, fascinating sights, and fishy, oceany smells. The fresh seafood market spontaneously appears on the pier between Seaport Village and Tuna Harbor every Saturday morning. It features the catch of local fishermen. And lots of shoppers, should you arrive early.

During my casual visit I noticed some interesting information on a table that described what our local fishermen catch. So I took some pics. I also enjoyed being shown various species of edible sea creatures by a few of the friendly vendors, though I’m afraid I purchased nothing. My cooking skills amount to pushing buttons on the microwave. I admit it.

If you’d like to read some of the literature I spotted on a table, click the images.

Sidewalk signs try to lure people out onto a pier near Seaport Village. Fresh seafood caught by local fishermen is sold here every Saturday morning.
Sidewalk signs try to lure people out onto a pier near Seaport Village. Fresh seafood caught by local fishermen is sold here every Saturday morning.
I arrived at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market at about eleven o'clock, after the usual early morning crowd of fresh fish shoppers had departed.
I arrived at the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market at about eleven o’clock, after the usual early morning crowd of fresh fish shoppers had departed.
Some freshly caught silvery Pacific bluefin tuna on ice for sale. That's a lot of eating!
Some freshly caught silvery Pacific bluefin tuna on ice for sale. That’s a lot of eating!
I noticed people by the edge of the pier looking across the water toward downtown San Diego.
I noticed people by the edge of the pier looking across the water toward downtown San Diego.
Something below in the water has caught their attention...
Something below in the water has caught their attention…
It's a sea lion just hanging out, probably hoping for a handout!
It’s a sea lion just hanging out, probably hoping for a handout!
The Mary Beth docked nearby appears equipped and ready to go out for more fish.
The Mary Beth docked nearby appears equipped and ready to go out for more fish.
Some colorful artwork at the fresh fish market depicts a fisherman and scenes from above and beneath the ocean.
Some colorful artwork at the fresh fish market depicts a fisherman and scenes from above and beneath the ocean.
Meet your meal! At one table I discovered some interesting photos and literature, including a diagram of deep-set buoy gear used to catch swordfish.
Meet your meal! At one table I discovered some interesting photos and literature, including a diagram of deep-set buoy gear used to catch swordfish.
This poster shows the most common seafood commercially harvested in California. Many of these species can be purchased at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
This poster shows the most common seafood commercially harvested in California. Many of these species can be purchased at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
More info on the table describes the wavy turban snail and Kellet's whelk, which I'm told make for good eating.
More info on the table describes the wavy turban snail and Kellet’s whelk, which I’m told make for good eating.
I believe I've seen brown box crabs, Pacific rock crabs, and red sea urchins at this very market! The latter can live up to 200 years, and is considered a delicacy.
I believe I’ve seen brown box crabs, Pacific rock crabs, and red sea urchins at this very market! The latter can live up to 200 years, and is considered a delicacy.
Some guys cut up fish. Customers can have their purchase filleted on the pier.
Some guys cut up a huge fish, making steaks. Customers can have their purchase cleaned on the pier.
A big pile of whelks. To cook these, boil!
A big pile of whelks. To cook these, boil!
Look at all the seafood one can choose from at this one tent. The Tuna Harbor Dockside Market continues to grow and now occupies about half of the pier.
Look at all the seafood one can choose from at this one tent. The Tuna Harbor Dockside Market continues to grow and now occupies about half of the pier.
Fresh fish! Lots of tuna!
Fresh fish! Lots of tuna!
I and some other folks are shown a sea urchin. The kelp and starfish are just for show--they aren't normally eaten!
I’m shown a spiky sea urchin. The kelp and starfish are just for show–they aren’t normally eaten!

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Photos aboard new Scripps research vessel Sally Ride!

Scripps Institution of Oceanography's new Research Vessel Sally Ride welcomes the public at San Diego's Broadway Pier.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s new Research Vessel Sally Ride welcomes the public at San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

If you love science, technology and the study of our planet’s oceans, please enjoy the following photo tour of a very special ship. In this blog post we will visit the newest, most highly advanced oceanographic research ship in the world!

The world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a part of UC San Diego located in La Jolla, debuted their new research vessel Sally Ride this weekend at the Broadway Pier. Today the public was invited to come aboard and learn about the future work of scientists at sea.

The R/V Sally Ride is equipped with technologically advanced equipment, sensors, labs and computer systems. In the years ahead, it will be tasked with learning about and preserving the oceans, studying and protecting the environment, and inspiring the next generation. Using satellite communication and the scientists aboard, students and teachers throughout the world will actively participate in ocean exploration.

Except in documentary films, the public seldom sees the interior of an ocean-going research vessel. So today was an opportunity not to be missed!

Please read the photo captions where I’ve tried, to the best of my knowledge, to provide accurate details. But I’m no expert. If you’d like to leave a correction or useful information in a comment, please do!

The public was invited to tour the new research ship Sally Ride. It was a rare opportunity to see how high tech exploration is carried out by UCSD Scripps scientists and oceanographers.
The public was invited to tour the new research ship Sally Ride. It was a rare opportunity to see how high tech exploration is carried out by UCSD Scripps scientists and oceanographers.
The free public tours of RV Sally Ride drew a good crowd on a Sunday in October, 2016. These people smartly arrived an hour early to reserve a time slot.
The free public tours of R/V Sally Ride drew a good crowd on a Sunday in October, 2016. These people smartly arrived an hour early to reserve a time slot.
The tour began inside the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Many displays highlighted the work of UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The tour began inside the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Many displays highlighted the work of UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
UC San Diego embarks upon a new journey of exploration and boundary breaking with America's newest research vessel RV Sally Ride. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.
UC San Diego embarks upon a new journey of exploration and boundary breaking with America’s newest research vessel R/V Sally Ride. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.
A large display goes over the history of The Evolution of Climate Change Science. UCSD scientists have made important contributions in this field.
A large display goes over the history of The Evolution of Climate Change Science. UCSD scientists have made important contributions in this field.
People inside the Port Pavilion learn about science and technology related to the understanding of planet Earth's oceans.
People inside the Port Pavilion learn about science and technology related to the understanding of planet Earth’s oceans.
These examples of what is found when taking sediment cores on the ocean floor include tiny elegant Radiolaria.
These examples of what is found when taking sediment cores on the ocean floor include tiny elegant Radiolaria.
The Autonomously Deployed Deep-Ocean Seismic System's Wave Glider is powered by solar and wave energy. It links with satellites and ocean bottom seismometers to help predict earthquakes and tsunamis.
The Autonomously Deployed Deep-Ocean Seismic System’s Wave Glider is powered by solar and wave energy. It links with satellites and ocean bottom seismometers to help predict earthquakes and tsunamis.
Some advanced visual equipment on display during the public debut of Research Vessel Sally Ride in San Diego. Multiple underwater photos can be taken in quick succession to form a 3-D model.
Some advanced visual equipment on display during the public debut of Research Vessel Sally Ride in San Diego. Multiple underwater photos can be taken in quick succession to form a 3-D model.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla monitors climate variability and change, coastal hazards, marine operations, and ecosystems, fisheries and water quality.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla monitors climate variability and change, coastal hazards, marine operations, and ecosystems, fisheries and water quality.
Floating device used to measure ocean wave characteristics.
Floating device used to measure ocean wave characteristics.
Peering out of the Port Pavilion at the RV Sally Ride, docked at San Diego's Broadway Pier.
Peering out of the Port Pavilion at the R/V Sally Ride, docked at San Diego’s Broadway Pier.
Photo aiming toward the stern of RV Sally Ride. The big A frame, giant crane, and two retractible arms on the starboard side of the ship are visible.
Photo aiming toward the stern of R/V Sally Ride. The big A frame, winch shack, extending crane, and two retractable arms on the starboard side of the ship are visible.
Visitors eagerly head up the gangplank to explore America's newest, most advanced research ship.
Visitors eagerly head up the gangplank to explore America’s newest, most advanced research ship.
Here we go!
Here we go!
Looking down to our left.
Looking down to our left.
This rosette frame can be lowered into the water with a variety of mounted sensors. We'll see it again in a bit.
This rosette frame can be lowered into the water with a variety of mounted sensors. We’ll see it again in a bit.
Heading down steep steps to the research ship's fantail and work deck.
Heading down steep steps to the research ship’s fantail and work deck.
We are halfway down. Many distant sailboats can be seen on San Diego Bay this beautiful but mostly overcast Sunday.
We are halfway down. Many distant sailboats can be seen on San Diego Bay this beautiful but mostly overcast Sunday.
RV Sally Ride is equipped with shops, labs, winches, launch frames, booms and the newest scientific instruments and communication gear. The busy fantail and work deck are where science meets the sea.
R/V Sally Ride is equipped with shops, labs, winches, launch frames, booms and the newest scientific instruments and communication gear. The busy fantail and work deck are where science meets the sea.
The gigantic A-Frame at the stern of RV Sally Ride can lift loads up to 30,000 pounds! Wire and cable deploy towed instruments. Moorings and acoustic equipment are also deployed in this manner.
The gigantic A-Frame at the stern of RV Sally Ride can lift loads up to 30,000 pounds! Wire and cable deploy towed instruments. Moorings and acoustic equipment are also deployed in this manner.
Visitors on the rear deck of RV Sally Ride learn about science on the sea from a crewmember.
Visitors on the rear deck of R/V Sally Ride learn about science on the sea from a crewmember.
Looking forward and up, we see several levels to the ship. If I understand correctly, the electronic display indicates a cable's tension, payout and speed.
Looking forward and up, we see several levels to the ship. If I understand correctly, the electronic display indicates a cable’s tension, payout and speed.
Turning a bit to the right, we see the big crane atop a staging bay that is sheltered from the weather. Inside, equipment can be carefully prepared before deployment out in the elements.
Turning a bit to the right, we see the big crane atop a staging bay that is sheltered from the weather. Inside, equipment can be carefully prepared before deployment out in the elements.
Now we are heading toward the windowed winch shack, along the starboard side of the ship toward the two retractable arms.
Now we are heading toward the windowed winch shack, along the starboard side of the ship toward the two retractable arms.
One of two mechanical arms used to lower sensors, nets, and other oceanographic equipment into the water. They are called LARS, which stands for launch and recovery systems.
One of two mechanical arms used to lower sensors, nets, and other oceanographic equipment into the water. They are called LARS, which stands for launch and recovery systems.
A member of the public reads a sign explaining that the LARS are controlled from the winch shack. Wire or cable is used to lower equipment overboard.
A member of the public reads a sign explaining that the LARS are controlled from the winch shack. Wire or cable is used to lower equipment overboard.
This rosette frame is holding a CTD, or conductivity, temperature and depth sensor. It can be lowered to a depth of nearly 4 miles! Niskin bottles attached to the frame can capture samples to be analyzed on the ship or at a later time.
This rosette frame is holding a CTD, or conductivity, temperature and depth sensor. It can be lowered to a depth of nearly 4 miles! Niskin bottles attached to the frame can capture samples to be analyzed on the ship or at a later time.
A poster inside the RV Sally Ride's staging bay details the ship's main characteristics.
A poster inside the R/V Sally Ride’s staging bay details the ship’s main characteristics.
Heading through a watertight door into the Wet Lab. Water samples are brought here for storage and analysis. There are drains in the floor!
Heading through a watertight door into the Wet Lab. Water samples are brought here for storage and analysis. There are drains in the floor!
Another poster contains photos taken during RV Sally Ride's construction.
Another poster contains photos taken during RV Sally Ride’s construction. (Click image to enlarge.)
A look inside the Wet Lab.
A look inside the Wet Lab.
R/V Sally Ride is the newest member of the Office of Naval Research's fleet. These ships are owned by the U.S. Navy, but operated by university employees and professional mariners. Science teams rotate on a regular basis every two or three weeks.
R/V Sally Ride is the newest member of the Office of Naval Research’s fleet. These ships are owned by the U.S. Navy, but operated by university employees and professional mariners. Science teams rotate on a regular basis every two or three weeks.
Heading from the Wet Lab into the Main Lab.
Heading from the Wet Lab into the Main Lab.
Lab stations on the RV Sally Ride are optimized for the different types of research activities that take place at sea.
Lab stations on the R/V Sally Ride are optimized for the different types of research activities that take place at sea.
Visitors have written comments near a sign that describes the legacy of Sally Ride, our country's first female astronaut. Sally was on the faculty of UC San Diego.
Visitors have written comments near a sign that describes the legacy of Sally Ride, our country’s first female astronaut. Sally was on the faculty of UC San Diego.
A diagram of RV Sally Ride with detailed information about the ship.
A diagram of R/V Sally Ride with detailed information about the ship.
Now we've arrived at the ship's nerve center, the control station for CTD operations. Here scientists monitor ship location, sensor readouts, and trip bottles to collect samples.
Now we’ve arrived at the ship’s nerve center, the control station for CTD operations. Here scientists monitor ship location, sensor readouts, and trip bottles to collect samples.
After quickly passing the no-nonsense mess deck and through two rather bare state rooms, visitors head up stairs to check out the pilot house.
After quickly passing the no-nonsense mess deck and through two rather bare state rooms, visitors head up stairs to check out the pilot house.
The high tech pilot house, or bridge, attracted a big crowd of curious visitors!
The high tech pilot house, or bridge, attracted a big crowd of curious visitors!
One of the seats where the ship's captain can place himself. When at sea or holding station, a deck officer is present on the bridge at all times.
One of the seats where the ship’s captain can place himself. When at sea or holding station, a deck officer is present on the bridge at all times.
The huge computerized control console looks like it belongs on a spacecraft!
The huge computerized control console looks like it belongs on a spaceship!
Aft of the starboard side of the bridge is the chart room, where navigational plans are made for each expedition. Old-fashioned maps are still used as an emergency backup!
Aft of the starboard side of the bridge is the chart room, where navigational plans are made for each expedition. Old-fashioned maps are still used as an emergency backup!
Heading around the pilot house, back toward the stern of RV Sally Ride.
Heading around the pilot house, back toward the stern of R/V Sally Ride.
Looking down at the heavy crane and other outdoor machinery used to carry out research on the often stormy ocean.
Looking down at the telescoping knuckleboom crane and other outdoor machinery used to carry out research on the often stormy ocean.
People examine an oceanographic winch. Drums can have upwards of 10,000 meters of wire or cable spooled on them.
People examine an oceanographic winch. Drums can have upwards of 10,000 meters of wire or cable spooled on them.
As I understand it, this sturdy, long crane can be used in all directions for multiple purposes, including lifting the gangplank!
As I understand it, this sturdy telescoping knuckleboom crane can be extended in all directions for multiple purposes, including lifting the gangplank!
Two impressive winches aboard RV Sally Ride.
Two impressive winches aboard R/V Sally Ride.
Looking back up toward the rear of the pilot house.
Looking back up toward the rear of the pilot house.
One last look at the aft deck and impressive A-Frame of the amazing new Research Vessel Sally Ride.
One last look at the aft deck and impressive A-Frame of the amazing new Research Vessel Sally Ride.
I'm not the only one who is impressed.
I’m not the only one who is impressed.
Heading forward along the ship's port side. Downtown San Diego buildings rise across the water.
Heading forward along the ship’s port side. Downtown San Diego buildings rise across the water.
We've arrived at the ship's bow, just below the pilot house, where we find the anchoring station. The big windlass mechanism lowers and raises an anchor.
We’ve arrived at the ship’s bow, just below the pilot house, where we find the anchoring station. The big windlass mechanism lowers and raises an anchor.
RV Sally Ride has three anchors, each weighing 5,000 pounds. Two are on either side of the bow and the third is a spare. Each anchor is connected to 720 feet of chain, which is stored below decks.
R/V Sally Ride has three anchors, each weighing 5,000 pounds. Two are on either side of the bow and the third is a spare. Each anchor is connected to 720 feet of chain, which is stored below decks.
An orange life ring reads RV Sally Ride, San Diego.
An orange life ring reads R/V Sally Ride, San Diego.
One last photo of RV Sally ride during her debut at the Broadway Pier. She begins her first research expedition in a matter of days!
One last photo of R/V Sally ride during her debut at San Diego’s Broadway Pier. She begins her first research expedition in a matter of days!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

Save the Vaquita Day in San Diego!

Help us Save the Vaquita display at the east gazebo of Seaport Village in San Diego. The band Insect Surfers was providing some music!
Help us Save the Vaquita display at the east gazebo of Seaport Village in San Diego. The band Insect Surfers was providing some music!

The Vaquita is the world’s most endangered marine mammal. It is thought that about 60 of the animals exist in the ocean today. This small species of porpoise (Phocoena sinus) lives in the warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean–specifically in the northern Gulf of California, in a small region east of Baja California not too distant from San Diego. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Vaquita is classified as Critically Endangered.

International Save the Vaquita Day was observed today in San Diego and many other cities around the world. I swung by Seaport Village to see what efforts are underway to save Mexico’s “Panda of the Sea” and to learn a little about the Vaquita.

I learned that the Vaquita, thankfully, enjoys clean waters. Their big threat is being entangled in the gillnets of fishermen. A major effort is underway to eliminate these nets from the Vaquita’s natural habitat. But some fishermen, seeking to provide a living for themselves, use them anyway.

I learned there’s also an effort to inform consumers that some shrimp and fish that one finds in the grocery store is caught with gillnets. It is hoped enlightened shoppers will seek out and purchase seafood that isn’t caught with this type of net.

I learned that Vaquitas have never been held in aquariums, and has only been known to science since 1958.

If this species goes extinct, it will be gone forever.

These nice ladies are working hard to save the Vaquita. It is hoped many others will join the effort, in any way possible. Time is very limited--perhaps a year or two--before the species might go extinct.
These nice ladies are working hard to save the Vaquita. It is hoped many others will join the effort, in any way possible. Time is very limited–perhaps a year or two–before the species might go extinct.
Kids make art and learn about the critically endangered Vaquita, a marine mammal that clings to a tenuous existence not far from San Diego.
Kids make art and learn about the critically endangered Vaquita, a marine mammal that clings to a tenuous existence not far from San Diego.

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