Hearst Castle Theater’s giant screen will come alive with National Marine Sanctuary underwater treasures at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Holly Lohuis, marine biologist and field producer for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, will meet with the public and tell stories from her experiences around the world and deep in the sea.
“For more than 60 years, Jean-Michel Cousteau, his father and family have been part of the greatest exploration of the ocean in all of history. For the last 17 years I’ve had the privilege of traveling and diving alongside M. Cousteau and the OFS expedition team,” she said. “I am thrilled to share stories of our adventures at San Simeon, one of my favorite places along California’s central coast.”
“These videos highlight the treasures right off the coast in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary,” Lohuis said. “I hope to instill a sense of wonder and awe at the ocean’s beauty. I want to inspire us all to be part of protecting our water planet.”
Lohuis’ work contributed to the PBS special “America’s Underwater Treasures” and the accompanying book series. The recently released second book in the four-part series “Explore the National Marine Sanctuaries with Jean-Michel Cousteau” features the five West Coast national marine sanctuaries, including Monterey Bay NMS. Books and DVDs autographed by Cousteau will be on sale at the theater.
Three National Marine Sanctuaries protect the natural resources along California’s coast. The Monterey sanctuary stretches from north of the Golden Gate Bridge to Cambria.
Tickets, $10, are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event /234433, the Cambria Chamber of Commerce at 767 Main St., and from the Friends of the Elephant Seal (FES) office in Cavalier Plaza on Hearst Drive in San Simeon.
The elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas is a national treasure, located in the largest of all 13 National Marine Sanctuaries. It’s one of only three mainland elephant seal rookeries in the world, and the most easily accessible.FES is the local nonprofit organization that staffs the rookery in partnership with California State Parks Department.
A separate morning event on May 5 offers the chance to learn more about elephant seals at a free seminar on molting, the once-yearly shedding of seals’ skins. Meet at Cavalier Plaza, 250 San Simeon Avenue, San Simeon at 9:30 a.m. for coffee before a lecture at 10 a.m. Participants will then drive up to the elephant seal rookery for a guided tour. More seals are on the beach during this time than during the breeding season.
Friends of the Elephant Seal is sponsoring the events. For details, go to www.elephantseal.org.