Bulls fight (Balthis)

Guided Elephant Seal Walks, Dec 15 through March 31, 2019

Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seals, or bulls, arrive along the shore of Año Nuevo State Park to establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore to birth to their pups. These popular guided walks take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. Vehicle Day use fee is $10. Cost: $7 per person + $3.99 reservation fee. For more information, call (650) 879-2025 or for recorded information (650) 879-0227, or visit
For reservations, please call ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445.


2019 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest, Postmark Deadline is Jan 31.

This is a statewide art contest! Entries must have a California coastal or California marine theme (e.g. no tropical or Arctic settings or species; for help with California species, click here.) Poems and art must be student’s original work. Sponsored by the California Coastal Commission. All entries must include a completed contest entry form: English  Entry Form, Spanish Concurso Costero.


Celebrate Underwater Parks Day with King Tides, Jan 19 to Jan 21, 10 am – 4 pm

Explore your local Marine Protected Area and see the highest tides of the year at Natural Bridges State Park! Daily activities for this three-day weekend event will include arts and crafts in the visitor center from 10am to 4pm, live kid-friendly music at 2:30pm and a 3pm tide pool walk. Arrive around 9am for best viewing of the King Tides. Meet at visitor center for tide pool walk. Rain cancels tide pool walk; all other activities are rain or shine. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609 ext. 8. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Events made possible by Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and California State Parks.

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Annual King Tide Walk, Jan 20, 8:30 – 10:30 am

Witness one of the highest tides of the year and get your citizen-science on! Every winter California experiences the “King Tides”, naturally occurring, extremely high tides. On this guided walk, Reserve naturalists will share background on tides and discuss the impacts of sea level rise on the slough. Participants are invited to bring their cameras to help us record the effects of the season’s King Tides on natural resources and infrastructure. Photos will be posted on both the California King Tides Initiative website and the Elkhorn Slough Reserve website. All ages are welcome, but individuals under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. We will walk out rain or shine, so dress for all weather and be prepared for a one mile, moderate hike.
Participation is free and registration is required here:


Science Sundays, Jan 20, 1:30 pm

At the Seymour Marine Discovery Center


Kraw Lecture: Assembling Life—How can life begin on Earth and other habitable planets?, Jan 23, 6 – 8:30 pm

Our knowledge of how life on Earth began is incomplete. While some pieces of the puzzle are firmly established by the laws of chemistry and physics, there is still conjecture about what the Earth was like four billion years ago, based on reasonable extrapolations from observing today’s Earth. David Deamer is a Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at UCSC. His research tests the hypothesis that hydrothermal fresh water pools associated with volcanic land masses are a plausible site for life to begin. At the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus, 3175 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara 


EcoFarm Conference, Jan 23 – 26

EcoFarm nurtures just and ecologically sustainable farms and food systems through education, alliance building, celebration and advocacy. EcoFarm is more than a conference.
 It’s a gathering for inspiration, renewal, and celebration.
Dozens of workshops, keynote presentations, networking and dance!


Drawdown: Reversing Global Warming, Jan 24, 6:45 pm, potluck at 6:15 pm

This program, designed by Pachamama, includes lots of participant interaction as well as inspiring video segments. People already familiar with Drawdown are welcome as their knowledge will enrich the evening for everyone, and newcomers are also extremely welcome. We need to get this message of hope and action to as many of the public as possible.  Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Avenue


Basic Winter Fruit Tree Care: Pruning and More, Jan 26, 9:30 am – noon

Review the goals and techniques of pruning fruit trees in this lecture and demonstration workshop. Get some hands-on pointers on how to prune your fruit trees to maximize health and production. Information on varietal selection, tools, timing, techniques, and more, with Matthew Sutton of Orchard Keepers. This workshop takes place at the UCSC Farm. Heavy rain cancels. Rainout date is Saturday, February 2.
Please pre-register for this event: UCSC Farm, Meet at Gatehouse, Farm Road, UCSC


9th Annual Whalefest Monterey, Jan 26 & 27, 10 am – 5 pm

This 2-day event celebrates the migration of the gray whales, and benefits the many local and national marine organizations that build awareness about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which educate, inspire, and empower the public to protect it.
Among the highlights will be an outstanding Symposium with lectures and documentaries related to ocean and marine life conservation presented at the Wharf Theatre. Besides musical performances, there will be many educational displays by organizations that affect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. For details click: Here


Cultivating Right Livelihood, Permaculture Course, Jan 26 & 27

Embark on the path of inner and outer transition for a more beautiful and sustainable world
Join us for a transformative journey that aims to align your livelihood with a deeper purpose in service of happiness and well-being for you, others, and the planet. In this workshop, Della Duncan, broadcast journalist, teacher, and leading alternative economist will weave together stories, games, and practices to invite us to: explore what is wrong with the current economic system and why it is not delivering well-being and health; look at the seeds of new possibilities and learn what we need to do to allow them to emerge; find how we can each contribute to the more equitable, sustainable, and just economy we want right now. For location, times and registration go HERE

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Book Launch: Dan Haifley’s 40 Years of Saving Our Shores, Jan 27, 3 – 5 pm

Following in the footsteps of citizens who halted construction of a nuclear power plant in Davenport and an oil refinery at Moss Landing, Save Our Shores formed in January 1978, to oppose plans to drill for oil in federal waters off central and northern California. Over the course of 40 years, SOS continues to preserve “our ocean backyard.” Meet author Dan Haifley, Save Our Shores’ first executive director and the current director of O’Neill Sea Odyssey. He will talk about the history of Save Our Shores and will sign copies of his new book. Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St.


World Wetlands Day, Feb 2, 9:30 – noon

Ramsey Park, Watsonville


Land of the Jaguars, Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom, Feb 2, 3pm and 7 pm

A new presentation by renowned photographer Frans Lanting and his partner Chris Eckstrom in celebration of two wilderness areas in South America—Brazil’s Pantanal and Argentina’s Ibera. Frans and Chris recently returned from a month of travel in this unique part of the world with fresh impressions. They will regale us with their images, stories, and videos about the natural and human history of these spectacular wetlands which are home to the “giants” of South America: the giant anteater, giant otter, rhino-like tapirs, colorful macaws—the largest parrots in the world, endearing capybaras—Earth’s largest rodent, and of course, the jaguar—largest cat in the Americas. Frans and Chris will share personal observations and highlight conservation successes here that inspire hope. At the Rio Theater, 1205 Soquel Ave. Tickets HERE

Proceeds will benefit the marine science education and conservation programs at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Lab.


Between Paradise and Peril, Feb 7, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

We are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, but living in paradise can also present challenges! UCSC Professor Gary Griggs discusses the fascinating natural disaster history of the Monterey Bay, from earthquakes and landslides to floods, droughts, El Ninos, and cliff erosion as described in his new book entitled Between Paradise and Peril. This event is free, but seating is limited. Reservations are requested.
REGISTER HERE.  Patrick J. Fitz Wetlands Education and Resource Center located at the top of Pajaro Valley High School at 500 Harkins Slough Road, Watsonville.


32nd Annual Migration Festival, Feb 9, 11am to 4pm

Fly, swim, waddle, walk, bike, or drive as you migrate to Natural Bridges State Beach for a full day of activities that celebrate the migration of whales, butterflies, birds and the many creatures that travel. The park will host migratory animal talks, active kids’ games, crafts, skits, live music by the nature-loving 5M’s Band, over 20 organizations’ educational booths and displays, and a “migration passport” that you can complete at the festival! Food and beverages will also be available. For more information, call (831) 423-4609 x 8. Event free. Vehicle day use fee is $10. Event made possible by Mountain Parks Foundation and California State Parks.

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San Francisco: Still Wild At Heart, Feb 9, 7 pm @ Rio Theatre


Community Free Days, Feb 12. 10 am – 5 pm

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is open to the community free of charge on: Feb 12, July 4, Nov 28, Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 31


Sanctuary Speakers Series, Feb 21, 7 – 9 pm

Join Save Our Shores for a conversation with author Dr. Stephen Palumbi, Professor at Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, and Dr. Mark Carr, Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, as they discuss the fascinating history of Monterey Bay and the people who have had an impact on both human and marine inhabitants. We are co-sponsoring this event with Friends of Aptos Library. The introduction will be by Nicole Crane who teaches at Cabrillo College in the Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences Department.


S.T.E.A.M. Winter Conference, Feb 23