NOAA 2006-R471
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Sherman
7/14/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA, CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS OFFICIALS PRAISE OPENING
OF NEW COASTAL DISCOVERY CENTER AT SAN SIMEON BAY

Officials at NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks expressed excitement today about the upcoming opening of their new cooperatively managed Coastal Discovery Center. Located at W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach, the new center will highlight the connection between the land and sea through engaging exhibits and interpretation provided by highly trained volunteers. A grand opening event will take place on Saturday, July 22, 2006 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“We are thrilled to join with California State Parks and our newly trained volunteers in the opening of the Coastal Discovery Center, and in educating locals and visitors about our important coastal and marine heritage,” said acting Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Holly Price. “We know visitors will enjoy the Discovery Center’s innovative exhibits like the talking tide pool and video voyage to the deep sea.”

The Coastal Discovery Center will offer an exciting way for visitors to learn about the natural and cultural treasures of the region, and the role sanctuaries, parks, and the public play in protecting these treasures for future generations. This new environmental interpretive facility provides education to the public about the region’s spectacular offshore and land resources.

“The establishment of this wonderful educational facility addresses one of California State Parks strategic initiatives to provide interpretive services to the visiting public,” said California State Parks District Services Superintendent Juventino Ortiz III. “I look forward to bringing my five year old daughter to the center to experience learning in a fun and beautiful coastal environment.”

The Coastal Discovery Center will be open weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Trained volunteers will staff the center and serve as guides for visitors. Interested members of the public can call the center at
(805) 927-6575.

California State Parks manages 278 park units, which include an array of natural, cultural and recreational resources that reflect the diversity of Californians. The mission of California State Parks is to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, to protect its natural and cultural resources, and to create opportunities for outdoor recreation in order to provide for health, inspiration and education. At the heart of this mission is the core program of educating and interpreting to the public this legacy of resources for future generations.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches along 276 miles of central California coast and encompasses more than 5,300 square miles of ocean area. Renowned for its scenic beauty and remarkable productivity, the sanctuary supports one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, including 33 species of marine mammals, 94 species of seabirds, 345 species of fishes and thousands of marine invertebrates and plants.

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

In 2007 NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. Starting with the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. The agency is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and more than 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov

NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: http://montereybay.noaa.gov

California State Parks: http://www.parks.ca.gov