In celebration of World Oceans Day, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is offering free admission to visitors all day Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

In collaboration with local, national, and international science and conservation groups, the Sea Center invites visitors of all ages to enjoy activities that explore the local marine environment and how it relates to a wider global context.

Some activities include exploring a kelp holdfast and the numerous small animals that live inside its anchoring structure, participating in an immersive Blue Whales experience via a virtual reality headset, and making a Penguin Post to receive a postcard from researchers in the Antarctic.

University of California Santa Barbara researchers from various labs will explain their scientific work in local waters.

An outreach team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be on hand to answer questions.

Representatives from Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the U.S. Coast Guard will show how they work to protect local marine resources.

At 4 p.m., the Harbor Patrol Fire Boat will stage a water display (time subject to change).

In an effort to create awareness about sustainable seafood practices, the Sea Center has partnered with local restaurants and seafood suppliers to provide a special seafood item on their menus deemed “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (seafoodwatch.org) for the week leading up to World Oceans Day.

Seafood partners include Get Hooked, Kanaloa Seafood, and more to be announced.

Surfrider Foundation’s Santa Barbara chapter will hold a beach clean-up at 9 a.m. on East Beach next to the pier before the event begins at 10 a.m.

For more information, visit sbnature.org.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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