There was a great highlight that just ran in the San Francisco Chronicle about the Bodega Bay Marine Lab.
Here’s the highlights from the article on this tour. Don’t miss it when you visit….it’s really informative and fun! Above is a picture of a docent with sea stars.
“Each year, 10,000 to 12,000 visit this UC Davis outpost where about 100 graduate students and scientists study underwater life along the Northern California coast.
Each Friday afternoon, from 2 to 4, docents lead free, hourlong tours that wind through parts of the sprawling complex. It soon becomes clear that visiting a marine lab isn’t anything like visiting for-profit aquariums, with their polished tanks and fancy signs. Here, the only live exhibits are a tide pool and three small aquariums.
Why now? The lab is open to visitors only on Friday afternoons, so summer is the best time for families with school-age children. The North Coast can be shrouded in fog in summer, but it usually burns off by midday, and it’s a good place to escape inland heat.
The backstory: UC students have done field work in the waters off the coast of Bodega Bay since the early 1920s, lured by the area’s diversity: Seven marine environments are found here, including mudflats, sand dunes and the waters of the Bodega Marine Reserve that stretch 1,000 feet offshore – a protected zone where little human interaction and boat traffic is permitted. UC Berkeley opened the lab in 1966, and it was taken over by UC Davis in 1984. Graduate students and scientists and staffers study at the facility and live in on-site dormitories.”