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Sonoma County Gazette
Crab at the Bodega Marine Lab

The Bodega Marine Lab - 
A Place of Countless Fascinations

Jul 30, 2017


What’s round, lives in the ocean and is good enough to eat?

I would have said abalone before meeting Kristin Aquilino, who moved from Iowa to northern California to work with the White Abalone Captive Breeding Program at the Bodega Marine Lab.

As she spoke passionately about the plight of these amazing creatures, which are on the endangered list and take a long time to grow up to become the gastronomic delights we are familiar with, I gained a new appreciation for the research of the Marine Lab.

Check out the fascinating work done at the lab by going to the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab web site. If you are a fan of animation and can’t get enough of the Minions, you will be excited to find out that the Marine Lab have their own little robotic Minion look-alikes that mimic the swimming behavior of larvae, to see, for the first time ever, what those little babies do in the ocean currents and tides.

So this summer, when inland temperatures make it difficult to breath and you don’t want to spend the day in another shopping mall or air conditioned cave, consider the Bodega Marine Lab, where every Friday from 2-4, a friendly docent will introduce you to an environment that feels a bit like the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The Lab partners with such organizations as the CA Dept. of Fish and WildlifeUC Santa Barbara Aquarium of the PacificCabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center and is funded by NOAA and the community at large.

When entering the west wing, a 24-foot-long display tank can be viewed that contains many local fishes and invertebrates and a small kelp forest. Just past the large tank is the harbor aquarium where you can get familiar with the creatures that reside in Bodega harbor. I think my favorite in either tank is the Decorator Crabs. Thank you Kitty for introducing them to me. If you want to put a smile on your face or someone you love (who loves to dress up), check out all the great clips on You tube about these stylish little tide pool fashionistas.

Bodega Marine Lab • 707-875-2211 2099 • Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay, CA 94923 • For groups over 10 people please make reservations. A small fee will apply that supports the research at the Lab.


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