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Aquatic creatures star in Avila

Christina Bailey holds her son Thomas Bailey,15 months, left, as he touches a sea star.  His sister Gabriella,2,right , watches him while they were at the grand opening for the Avila Beach Sea Life Center. Their father Bruce Bailey watches at right.  They are from Santa Maria. Photo Jayson Mellom 4-24-10
Christina Bailey holds her son Thomas Bailey,15 months, left, as he touches a sea star. His sister Gabriella,2,right , watches him while they were at the grand opening for the Avila Beach Sea Life Center. Their father Bruce Bailey watches at right. They are from Santa Maria. Photo Jayson Mellom 4-24-10 Jayson Mellom Photography

With tanks and exhibits featuring jellyfish, octopus, abalone and sharks, the Avila Beach Sea Life Center will give members of the public a more intimate look at sea life on the Central Coast.

The center, which had its grand opening Saturday, started as the Avila Beach/Port San Luis Marine Institute in 1998 to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students.

Now, a 1,500-square-foot exhibit will allow community members to learn about Avila’s history and rich marine life, said Executive Director Priscilla Kiessig.

The center will also have classes, workshops, tours, and a summer camp, which starts June 14.

For more information about the center, go to www.sealifecenter.org.

— Cynthia Lambert

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