Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
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Books about CMA

Did you know that Cabrillo Marine Aquarium has its roots near Venice Beach in 1934 as a card table displaying shells, crabs and seaweed? Bob Foster, a lieutenant lifeguard for Los Angeles County, started displaying the items, which also featured a dead pelican that washed up on the beach and a fish specimen in formaldehyde. As the ocean washed in more items, the collection grew and in 1935 it was moved to a bigger space at Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse in San Pedro.

The move to the bathhouse marked the beginning of Cabrillo Marine Museum, which eventually became Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. This fascinating bit of Aquarium history is just one of many told in the following books that are great reads for anyone interested in Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s past and present.

An Ocean of Inspiration: The John Olguin Story
By Stefan Harzen, Barbara Brunnick and Mike Schaadt
This book dives into the life of John Olguin, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium's second director. The stories of John Olguin and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium go hand in hand; one isn’t complete without the other. Olguin became acting director of the Aquarium in 1949 and went on to establish most of CMA’s classic programs including evening grunion run events, the volunteer based whale watching program, Spring Program on the beach for elementary students, and many more.

It’s impossible to capture the magical essence of John Olguin in a short review, but the book does a fantastic job of telling his story and in the process reveals how his drive and enthusiasm carried the Aquarium forward and made Cabrillo Marine Aquarium what it is today: a special place where thousands of visitors and students come every year to learn about Southern California’s ocean and marine life.

Olguin’s passion for everything his did was contagious and lives on in the thousands of lives he touched and individuals he inspired to dedicate their lives to ocean conservation. Whether you knew Olguin or not, after reading this book you’ll feel motivated to dive into your life’s work, never let challenges get in your way and follow your heart single-mindedly the same way he did.

San Pedro’s Cabrillo Beach
By Mike Schaadt, Ed Mastro and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

The Aquarium has an ideal location featuring an ocean view and access to two beaches: Inner Cabrillo Beach and Outer Cabrillo Beach. This book takes a close look at the construction of the two beaches and the integral role they’ve played in San Pedro as a gathering place for community groups. The authors dive into the history of the lifeguards stationed there, the many Aquarium educational programs staged there and the various events that have been held along this special stretch of California’s coastline.

Reading this book is like taking a time machine back to the late 1920’s and seeing what the area looked like before the beaches officially opened in 1928. The photos and descriptions will capture your imagination as you watch the history of Cabrillo Beach unfold before your eyes through the people who created it, managed it and enjoyed it.

Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park
By Mike Schaadt, Ed Mastro and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium sits in a unique location surrounded by Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park, which includes Inner Cabrillo Beach, Outer Cabrillo Beach, tidepools, a salt marsh, the breakwater and rocky cliffs. This book covers the history and distinctive aspects of each of these special areas accompanied by great photos and descriptions.

Since Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park is the great outdoors, in the process of reading this book you will also discover many fascinating tidbits about Southern California’s wildlife and ocean animals. For example, did you know that the male garibaldi fish creates a nest out of red algae for the female to lay eggs in and then guards the nest until the eggs hatch? Co-authors CMA Director Mike Schaadt and Director of Exhibits Ed Mastro have worked at the Aquarium most of their careers and also take time to reveal CMA’s role in the Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park story.

Post Date: Monday, December 31, 2012


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