Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Birch Aquarium at Scripps- December 9
I was not ready for another aquarium,as we had toured a rather big one out east this summer. And yet I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits in this aquarium,done by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The aquarium is located on a coastal bluff overlooking the Scripps campus and the Pacific Ocean. It poured buckets steadily all day Monday;one young man told us he had not seen that amount of rain in about fifteen years. On Tuesday we went out to the Mission Trails Regional Park to look at the Old Mission Dam,and there we could view the San Diego River which now was flowing quite strongly.I have a picture of it here,and a part of the old dam. Anyway,back to the subject at hand. The aquarium had a hall of fishes which displayed a variety of marine life in different habitats. I was especially taken with the display of seahorses. There are about 36 different species of them,the aquarium had twelve varieties-ranging in size from 2.5 inches to a foot long. I also liked the variety of jelly fish,and to see them floating and active in the water( versus dead on the beach where I usually see them)was impressive. They seemed so ethereal. One interesting fact I learned was that sharks mistake plastic bags in the water for jelly fish and get killed trying to ingest them. Curses on the plastic bag-I strongly feel everyone should work at eliminating them from our planet. In our travels this past year on the east coast we found stores willing to give us a few cents off our bill if we brought our own bags. Again I digress-but actually I guess that I have not veered off course here,for I want to mention the Scripps exhibit on global warming. They demonstrated how a rise in our ocean's temperature and, concomitantly,the increase of acidity with high levels carbon dioxide has affected marine life and their habitat(as bleaching of coral reefs). Thankfully there are scientists,as at the Scripps institute,who do the research which is needed to combat the issues that threaten the well-being of our oceans- and practice conservation as well as public education.