New shark pool marks Seymour Center's 10th anniversary on Sunday, October 10

Public celebration on "10-10-10" includes opening of hands-on shark and ray exhibit

This swell shark will be among the denizens of the new shark pool at the Seymour Center. Photo by P. Macht.
The opening of the shark pool marks the Seymour Center's 10th anniversary. Photo by P. Macht.

The Seymour Center at UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory will mark its 10th anniversary with a public celebration on Sunday, October 10, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and children, and free for members, UCSC undergraduates with valid student ID, and all 10-year-old children.

The highlight of the event will be the opening of a new shark and ray pool inside the center. This hands-on exhibit will give visitors a chance to see local sharks and rays up close and feel the "dermal teeth" that give sharkskin its sandpaper texture. While getting to know these fascinating creatures, visitors will also learn about research and conservation efforts. Sharks are top ocean predators and play a vital role in marine ecosystems, but many species around the world are in trouble. Sharks grow slowly and produce relatively few offspring. Pressure from fishing and habitat loss have contributed to alarming declines in some populations.

Special demonstrations, raffles, and tours will also take place throughout the afternoon, and the Ocean Discovery Shop will offer a 10-percent discount on all items. The center's classrooms will be open for demonstrations and self-guided activities.

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center opened to the public in March 2000. More than 60,000 people visit the center every year. Throughout 2010, children turning 10 years old will receive free entry during their birthday month.

Overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Seymour Center is a "living classroom" featuring aquariums, exhibits, touch tanks, whale skeletons, full-scale elephant seal models, the Ocean Discovery Shop, and unsurpassed ocean vistas. The aquariums and exhibits feature the everyday tools of ocean exploration and focus on research conducted by scientists locally and around the world. Interactive stations provide hands-on learning experiences, and docents lead tours and bring marine science to life. The Seymour Center is located at the end of Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz.