Shark Week: Shark Summer and Surf Rental Giveaway

With the close of summer, comes something that we look forward to all year…SHARK WEEK! Shark Week 2013 will be premiering on August 4th. Not only do we have Shark Week to look forward to, but Shark Summer at the Birch Aquarium is sure to be just as educational, fun and exciting.

For those who aren’t familiar with Shark Week, it’s a weeklong series of programs on the Discovery channel that features all things shark. Shark Week was started in 1987 with the aims of creating awareness of sharks as well as teaching people to respect instead of fear sharks. Although most of us are still afraid of those big, gray predators, Shark Week has become a huge success and is now broadcasted in over 72 countries!

If you’re wondering what Shark Week-related activities La Jolla has to offer, The Birch Aquarium is putting on Shark Summer right now! Shark Summer 2013 began on July 1st and will be here until August 24th. Shark Summer teaches locals all about La Jolla’s leopard sharks with a new exhibit, shark-related activities, snorkeling and kayaking excursions and even the opportunity to meet with a shark expert!

Leopard shark in the kelp tank.Onsite, you can meet and touch local sharks. In this exhibit, you can participate in shark-themed events and learn all about how sharks eat, live and hunt. The Shark floor activities happen every weekday from 10 AM to 4 PM while the Shark Encounter talks are every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 PM as well as Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 A M.

If you’re feeling brave and want to interact with sharks in their natural habitat, try one of the shark excursions. Snorkel with the leopard sharks is $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers and will be offered August 3 and 17 from 8-10 AM. You can snorkel with the leopard sharks off the La Jolla coast and learn all about them as well as the other sea creatures that live in the kelp. You must supply your own gear.

Another great offsite opportunity, the Shark and Wildlife Kayak Adventure is offered August 4, 10 and 18 from 8-10:30 AM and is a little pricier than the snorkeling excursion at $45 for members and $60 for nonmembers. With this adventure, you get to explore the La Jolla coastline in a fun kayak and your guides will point out the many sharks, rays and other animals present around you. You must be over 10 years old to participate and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Dr. Andy Nosal, Birch Aquarium’s DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology & Conservation, will lead both of these off-site activities.

Dr. Andy Nosal received his Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD in 2013 and is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about shark ecology.

There are other activities, such as a Shark Encounters summer camp for grades 4-6 offered August 19-23. If you’re interested, check out their website here.

The new exhibit, Elasmobeach, is a 13,000-gallon Shark Reef filled with sharks, rays and other marine animals. You can also adopt a shark onsite! Adoption is $35 and with the adoption you are helping the leopard sharks thrive in their environment. With the adoption you receive a plush leopard shark and a personalized certificate.

With all of these fun and educational activities happening this summer at the Birch Aquarium, who wouldn’t want to be involved? Visit the Birch Aquarium today and learn all about the fantastic marine predator, the shark.

If you’re interested in getting a first-hand look at our sharks, comment below for a chance to win a free 1 hour surfboard and wetsuit rental at Surf diva Surf School on Ave de la Playa in La Jolla. Contest closes at 12 PM on August 14. No purchase necessary. TO enter simply leave a comment below and tell us what type of shark is your favorite!

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