Opening Night at the Exploration Center
Friday, we kicked off our first annual Waves & Wildlife exhibit at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center. The exhibit displays some of the excellent work submitted for the Waves & Wildlife photo contest by local photographers, professional and amateur. With over 300 submissions, selecting the artwork displayed in the exhibit was a tough process. Photos of seascapes and wildlife from as far south as Point Sur up to Año Nuevo, showcase some of the beauty that can be found in the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary. Our goal is to inspire and build a connection between the public and our many Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). MPAs protect our ocean life by limiting extraction activities such as fishing and abalone harvesting. Different MPAs have different restrictions depending on their type.
Also on display are a series of banners designed by Amigail Vallarta and Sean Taylor, advertising students at San Jose State University. Chosen from six campaign entries, Amigail and Sean’s designs will be the face of our #MPAmondays campaign to increase awareness of our Marine Protected Areas.
Our opening event was lively. Exhibit attendees viewed striking shots, enjoyed drinks, and talked to the featured photographers about their work. By the end of the night 89 people had joined us to celebrate the start of the exhibit, including several of the artists.
[quote]I fell in love with that wild peninsula and the mysterious island beyond… I was delighted to see this mother seal touch noses with her very young pup. ~Irene Reti
Irene Reti’s winning picture of a mother Elephant Seal and her pup reminded us why we protect these sanctuaries; they are essential to protecting the biodiversity of the California coast.
[quote]There were more birds in this one area than I have ever seen in one place… I am truly blessed and lucky to be able to photograph life in its many forms in locations like Elkhorn Slough. ~Edward Garner
[quote]The seaweeds were gleaming and fresh, seeming to dance on [the] rock. ~Vivienne Orgel[/quote]
[quote]MPA’s are very important and.. should extend protections even further. The health and diversity of [the] bay has improved so much in the past 30 years or so. I remember when the only animal we ever saw out there was the infrequent gray whale. ~Kimberly Saxton
See the Sights
The exhibit will be up for the entire month of September so we highly recommend taking an afternoon to visit the Exploration Center and check out the incredible submissions for this year’s event. After that you can visit some of the Marine Protected Areas where these shots were taken, like Elkhorn Slough or Point Lobos, and see some of the incredible wildlife for yourself.
With major support from the Resources Legacy Fund, Waves and Wildlife Photo Contest is brought to you by #MPAmondays, a Save Our Shores project to increase Marine Protected Area awareness. Continue to help us spread the word by sharing you inspiring photos of Monterey Bay’s invaluable network of MPAs using #MPAmondays on your social media. For questions regarding the contest, contact firstname.lastname@example.org