Saving the White Abalone Exhibit Opens at Santa Barbara Museum Sea Center on Stearns Wharf


Saving the White Abalone Installation Opens at Sea Center

New display offers chance to see endangered species revitalization project up close

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center on Stearns Wharf recently unveiled a new installation entitled “Saving the White Abalone” that highlights its conservation work to bring the local species back from the brink of extinction.

White Abalone were the first marine invertebrates to be listed as endangered in the United States (2001). Overharvesting by humans led to the dramatic decline of the White Abalone, which now exist in such small numbers that they can no longer reproduce in the wild. Where once there were perhaps millions, several thousand White Abalone remain, and it is no longer legal to harvest them. The best hope for saving the White Abalone is to spawn them in captivity, with a long-term goal of releasing large numbers back into their native habitats.

As a member of the White Abalone Restoration Consortium (WARC), the Sea Center plays a helpful role in the recovery of this species. For the past thirteen years, the Sea Center has been home to a cohort of mature White Abalone. These endangered marine snails have participated in induced spawning events, releasing gametes that conservation scientists at partner intuitions mix with eggs to create larvae. Through coordinated induced spawning events, WARC members increase the abundance of White Abalone in captivity.

Following several successes, in 2014, the Sea Center received a cohort of young snails to rear, the progeny of captive snails. If all goes to plan, the new installation will soon host a third generation of microscopic White Abalone larvae, raised in trough enclosures like those used by commercial abalone farmers. This most recent addition gives the Sea Center a unique opportunity to illustrate the abalone life cycle and explain conservation efforts to the public.

Fostering genetic diversity among a dwindling population is a major challenge for the WARC, who have a limited number of animals to crossbreed due to the rarity of the species and restrictions on collecting wild animals, even for conservation purposes. The new generation is an exciting development for all WARC partners. Sea Center Live Collections & Husbandry Manager Thomas Wilson explains: “The most recent spawning at WARC partner UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory was exciting because it was the first time since the program’s inception that new genes were introduced.” The abalone larvae in the Sea Center’s new installation are the result of a cross between a wild female that conservationists were recently permitted to collect, and a captive-bred male.

The new display will educate the public by raising awareness of White Abalone’s endangered status and efforts to save them. The installation’s aim is to explain how human activities can harm—and help—endangered species.

Wilson shares, ”This new installation spans several years of work and collaboration with the WARC. It is the first time that we have ever tried to raise recently settled, juvenile white abalone, and they will need lots of attention. This is an exciting, albeit, stressful time for the Sea Center. I am hopeful that, as we move forward, we can continue to increase our participation with the WARC to save this species.”

WARC members include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory, Aquarium of the Pacific, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, University of California Santa Barbara and the Marine Science Institute, The Cultured Abalone, The Abalone Farm, National Park Service, UCSD – Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Occidental College, The Bay Foundation, CICESE – Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education, and California Science Center.

The new installation can be viewed on the 2nd floor of the Sea Center which is open daily from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. For more information visit

About the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center

Discover the wonders of ocean life at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. Located on historic Stearns Wharf, this highly interactive aquarium and marine education facility offers visitors close encounters with marine animals, and exploration of the Santa Barbara Channel on the Wet Deck. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Sea Center hosts unique events and special educational programming, including Underwater Parks Day, World Oceans Day, and its Live Dive series.

2019 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard in July and August

The Dallas Cowboys are heading back to River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard at 2101 West Vineyard Avenue (next to the Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard River Ridge) again this year for 2019 pre-season training camp!


Admission is FREE, no tickets needed. "Cowboys on Tour" trucks, team merchandise and Hall of Fame trailers will be at the site throughout camp. Parking opens at 11am and the "Midway" opens at noon.

Training schedule will be posted at  

2019 Schedule

  • Sat 7/27 - Opening Ceremonies TBD time; Practice at 3:30PM

  • Sun 7/28 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Mon 7/29 - Practice (Military Appreciation Day) 3:30PM

  • Tue 7/30 - Practice 10:45AM

  • Wed 7/31 - No Practice

  • Thu 8/1 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Fri 8/2 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Sat 8/3 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Sun 8/4 - Blue/White Scrimmage 3:30PM

  • Mon 8/5 - No Practice

  • Tue 8/6 - Practice (First Responders Appreciation Day) 3:30PM

  • Wed 8/7 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Thu 8/8 - Practice (Military Appreciation Day) 10:45AM

  • Fri 8/9 to Sun 8/11 - No Practice

  • Mon 8/12 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Tue 8/13 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Wed 8/14 - Practice 3:30PM

  • Thu 8/15 - No Practice

Parking lot opens at 11:30 am for 4 pm practices and 7:30 am for 10:30 am practices. 

Parking at River Ridge Playing Fields is $10 weekdays for small vehicles (oversized vehicles are usually $5 more) and $15 on weekends for all vehicles. FREE parking passes will be provided to registered guests staying in an Oxnard hotel.  Let the front desk know that you are attending Camp when you check in. One parking pass will be provided for each day of your stay.

No bicycles, backpacks (small diaper bag ok), coolers, ice chests, outside food and pets. No strollers in the bleacher area. No tailgating or alcohol allowed.

First Thursdays Gourmet Food Trucks at Plaza Park in Oxnard

The first Thursday of the month is Gourmet Food Truck Night in Oxnard's Plaza Park, 519 South C Street. Each event brings 8 to 12 of the hottest trucks in the southland. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with DJ entertainment, friends, and downtown restaurants and shops joining in the party with late hours and specials. Plenty of free parking on street and in public lots. More information at

Upcoming Dates: Moved from July 4th to July 5th due to the holiday.

Food Truck Fridays at the Pacific View Mall Every Third Friday of the Month


The Pacific View Mall hosts gourmet food trucks every 3rd Friday of the month in the parking lot next to Trader Joe's, along Mills Road. Hours are 5-9pm and event features over 20 food trucks, like Cousins Maine Lobster, The Underground Gourmet Food Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Sweet Arleen's, Steamy Bun Truck, etc. For the specific gourmet truck lineup, visit Also live entertainment!

Upcoming dates:  July 19, August 16, Sept 20, October 18,

Westlake Village Trolley to Run Fri/Sat Nights From May 24, 2019 through Labor Day Weekend

The Westlake Village Trolley is back in service. The free Trolley returns on Friday, May 24, 2019 and will operate on Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day weekend. The Trolley begins its run at Westlake Village City Hall at 3:00 pm and concludes each night at 10:00 pm. With stops at all major retail centers, including the Shoppes at Westlake Village, hotels, and neighborhoods, the Village Trolley is a great way to get around town.

Free, live entertainment on board the Trolley from 6-8pm only enhances the experience!

Riding the Village Trolley is easy. Simply hop on at one of 16 stops and hop off whenever you want. The Trolley is outfitted with a GPS locator device allowing riders to use their smartphone to track the trolley’s progress. The Trolley is not just transportation; it is a mobile City event perfect for residents and visitors of all ages. Check the City website for the up-to-date entertainment schedule. The Village Trolley is the smart and safe way to get to your favorite restaurant, park, or City special event. The Trolley rolls to Berniece Bennett Park for the three concerts in the park and the movie night this summer.

For more information, including locations of all Trolley stops, visit

SoCal Museums Announces New Creature Crawl Summer Activity For Families


SoCal Museums announces its summer Creature Crawl, an activity for kids and families that lets them explore the many museums that currently have animal-themed exhibitions on view. Participants can collect puzzle pieces at each of the five participating museums and use them to create a mythical beast that kids can design and color. Families can upload their creations to and win prizes for their work at the end of the summer.

Creatures featured include fabled unicorns in medieval manuscripts at the Getty Center, a beautiful garden of butterflies at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, dinosaurs from Antarctica at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and much more.

With support from UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, kids at the hospital who are unable to travel to the museums will receive their own package of activities so that they can also participate in the fun.

UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital is the Presenting Sponsor for Creature Crawl. PBS SoCal is the Media Sponsor for Creature Crawl. Check museum websites for individual hours and admission.

On view at Creature Crawl museums this summer:

Getty Center

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World

Through August 18, 2019 | @GettyMuseum

Explore the throngs of animals that tumble, soar, and race through the pages of the bestiary, a popular medieval book that describes the beasts of the world. Through vibrant and fascinating images, the pages of these bestiaries will bring creatures to life before your eyes – with some escaping from the pages to inhabit the Getty's galleries! Pick up your creature's head at the Museum Information Desk. The Getty is always free.

Los Angeles Zoo

Ongoing - Summer Creature Features | @LAZoo

Explore the L.A. Zoo and discover thousands of creatures with remarkable features, Iike purple-tongued giraffes, pink-and-preening flamingos, super-floofy golden lion tamarins, and fabulous neon-colored frogs. Along the way, you'll do more than just see these animals, many of which are endangered. You'll get a glimpse of the world through their eyes and, thanks to daily keeper-led presentations, you'll understand more about them. Best of all, your visit will help save them, by supporting vital conservation work. Pick up your creature's back frog legs in the International Marketplace gift shop.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Antarctic Dinosaurs

Through January 5, 2020 | @NHMLA

Gear up for the expedition of a lifetime! Follow the footsteps of past and modern-day paleontologists who excavate fossils beneath Antarctic ice and stone. Discover hands-on activities, specimens, and media touch screens that reveal what these science adventures are really like. Be transported back millions of years to the warmer habitat where exotic dinosaurs lived, including the 25-foot-long, cold-crested Cryolophosaurus! Pick up your creature's body at the Museum Store.


La Brea Tar Pits

Ongoing - Mammoths and Mastodons | IG: @TheLaBreaTarPits

The museum at the Tar Pits is experiencing a takeover of mammoth proportions. Discover these magnificent beasts from the Ice Age in a whole new way. Get up close to La Brea's real fossils as well as new life-sized replicas. Take part in interactive experiences that will give you a hands-on understanding of the science behind excavating and analyzing these fascinating creatures.

Please note, the creature puzzle piece is only available at the Natural History Museum, not at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Butterflies Alive!

Through September 2, 2019 | @SBNature

Walk through a beautiful garden while nearly 1,000 live butterflies flutter freely around you. The exhibit features a dazzling variety of butterflies, from local favorites to exotic tropical varieties. Learn about the Iife cycle and behavior of these spectacular invertebrates while observing them up close. Built in 2018, the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion features plants butterflies love and comfortable spots to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. Pick up your creature's butterfly wings at the Museum Admissions Office.


Prehistoric Forest

Through September 2, 2019

Take a stroll back in time and come face-to-face with dinosaurs on the banks of Mission Creek! Meet a Tyrannosaurus rex, the formidably armored Stegosaurus, high-crested Parasaurolophus, and Triceratops and Ankylosaurus mamas with their young. These hand-crafted moving animatronics spark the imaginations of dinosaur lovers of all ages. Pick up your creature's butterfly wings at the Museum Admissions Office.

Skirball Cultural Center

Ongoing - Noah's Ark at the Skirball™ | @Skirball_LA

From your first sight of the floor-to-ceiling Ark to a close-up encounter with a whimsically designed creature, Noah's Ark is sure to spark wonder no matter how old you are. You'll play, climb, build, and explore aboard the Ark, and you'll leave with a greater appreciation for the value of building community and caring for the world. Make memories that will last a lifetime — this summer at the Skirball. Pick up your creature's front zebra legs in the Rainbow Gallery at the conclusion of your visit to Noah's Ark.

SoCal Museums (SCM) is a group of marketing and communications professionals from museums all over Southern California. The mission of the organization is to foster dialogue between marketing and communications museum professionals in Southern California in order to learn from each other, network, conceptualize and execute ways to increase visitation to and awareness of museums in Southern California, and develop collaborative opportunities between museums.

UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital cares for the physical and emotional well-being of children, from newborns to young adults, providing critically ill children with sophisticated, compassionate care in an environment that is both welcoming and healing to children and their families.

The mission of the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital is to provide state-of-the art treatment for children in a family focused atmosphere, as well as conduct research that improves the understanding and treatment of pediatric diseases and to train the next generation of leaders in pediatrics.

PBS SoCal is the primary PBS station for more than 18 million people across six diverse Southern California counties, and a content channel of the Public Media Group of Southern California, formed by the 2018 merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. Our Mission is to foster a love of LEARNING, CULTURE and COMMUNITY using the power of public media.

The World's Largest Rodents - Two Female Capybaras - Back at the Santa Barbara Zoo


Two young capybaras are back at the Santa Barbara Zoo after a four-year absence of the world’s largest rodents from the Zoo. The sisters, who are less than one year old, share an exhibit near the Zoo Train Station with the Zoo’s three female giant anteaters.

The two female capybaras were born August 5, 2018 at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, where they were hand-raised after their mother passed away. A total of five siblings were hand-raised.

“They don’t have names yet, but do have personalities,” said Melanie Story, the mammal keeper who has cared for them during their 30-day quarantine. “The one that is currently lighter in color is more comfortable around people and braver in new situations, even though they were both hand-reared. But they are still not mature and it will be exciting to see how they change as they grow.”

A temporary fence currently separates the capybara from the giant anteaters, and keepers are making careful introductions in hopes that the two species will co-inhabit the exhibit in the future.

The Zoo’s adult female giant anteater Anara is currently on exhibit with her female twins, Fancy Nancy Drew and Maria Luisa, who were born at the Zoo in November 2017. The Zoo’s male giant anteater Ridley has his own quarters but will soon return to the adjacent exhibit, which was most recently occupied by two koalas who were on a one-year loan. Adult male giant anteaters do not interact with females unless they are breeding.

The sister capybaras, like many of the animals at the Zoo, can be sponsored and even named by making a donation to the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Foster Feeder fund which covers the cost of the animal food bill at the Zoo each year. For more information, contact the Zoo’s Institutional Advancement Department for details at 805-962-5339 or visit

About Capybaras

They have been called “swamp hogs” and “water pigs,” but capybaras are more closely related to guinea pigs than actual pigs – they are rodents. Adult capybaras can weigh as much as 150 pounds and stand as tall as 2.5 feet. They come from Central and South America where they live near standing water like riversides, ponds, and marshes.

Capybaras are most active on land, but are also skilled and graceful swimmers. Their feet are partially-webbed (like otters’ or beavers’) which allows them to dive deep and swim underwater for long distances. Water is also where capybaras prefer to defecate; they rarely “go” on land.

Just like fellow rodents such as porcupines and squirrels, capybaras’ long front teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. The teeth tend to wear down from chewing food, but some older capybaras end up with very long teeth. Like camels, they chew from side-to-side, and like cows, they regurgitate their food to re-chew it.

Animal experts generally agree that in recent years it has become increasingly difficult to find this shy and sometimes nocturnal animal in the wild. Deforestation and habitat destruction are factors, and until recently, hunting and poaching as a food source contributed to their decline. New captive farming programs have helped relieve poaching.

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission $18 for adults, $13 for seniors 64+, $11 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $11. The Santa Barbara Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA zoos are dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great visitor experience, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and is the public’s link to helping animals in their native habitats. Visit

2019 Summer Beach Buses in Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark

The City of Agoura Hills 2019 Summer Beach Bus transports from three pick-up locations in Agoura Hills to Zuma Beach Station #5!  Locations are Lindero Canyon Middle School, Agoura High School and the southeast corner of Liberty Canyon and Agoura Road. The program runs Monday through Friday from 6/17 to 8/16. Bring a photo ID (Driver's License, School ID, or a home-made emergency contact card will suffice) and exact change of $2.00 each way! Visit for specific pick-up times.

The City of Thousand Oaks is offering a 2019 Summer Beach Bus to Zuma Beach (Lot 5) every Monday through Friday from June 10 through August 9 (except July 4th and 5th) for $3 each way ($1.50 for seniors/disabled). Cash only, exact fare required. Multi-ride passes are available. Departure spots for both buses include the Borchard Community Center Parking Lot and Thousand Oaks Teen Center Bus Stop. Detailed schedules at Departs 9am and 10am on Mon-Wed and 9am, 10am and 11am from Borchard Center Thu-Fri.

The 2019 City of Calabasas Beach Bus to Zuma Beach is only for residents of Calabasas and Hidden Hills from TBA. Youth under age 18 must present ID from a Calabasas/Hidden Hills school and adults must show proof of residency. $2 each way. There are five pickup locations in Calabasas ranging from 10 am to 3:25 pm. Visit for specifics.

The City of Moorpark offers a 2019 beach bus to Zuma Tuesdays through Thursdays, 6/19/18 to 8/16/18. Visit for details. $5 round-trip for adults/students and $2 for seniors/disabled. Five pickup points in Moorpark, starting at 8:50 am at Campus Canyon School to 9:30 am at Peach Hill Park. Two trips per day. Open to the general public. No smoking, eating or drinking allowed on buses…but hey, you can text and talk all ya want!