Channel Islands National Park Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Opening of New Ocean Exhibit and Photographic Collection

Open ocean scene with whales, dolphins, and fish. Artwork by Karen Carr

Karen Carr

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News Release Date: March 5, 2015

Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Today, Channel Islands National Park announces the opening of a new ocean exhibit in the lookout tower at the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center in Ventura Harbor. A new ocean photographic collection is also now on display in the visitor center auditorium.

The exhibit takes visitors on an underwater journey through several ocean habitats beginning at ground level with the dark and mysterious deep sea and ascending the stairwell to a breaching humpback whale at the third floor lookout tower. The journey is complete with a short dive descent in the tower elevator.

Kids are first attracted to an entry cutout where they take pictures of themselves as underwater divers before peering through a porthole door at bioluminescent creatures. The display includes murals, graphics, audio, and light panels that depict the deep sea, open ocean, rocky reef, kelp forest, shore, and surface marine environments. Videos introduce the ocean habitats, marine species, and shipwrecks. The exhibit comes alive with light and sounds of the sea.

Superintendent Russell Galipeau said, "We hope this exhibit helps visitors appreciate the beauty, diversity, and values of our ocean. We highlighted some of the current threats to ocean health in hopes to inspire future stewards of the sea."

National park staff worked with Van Sickle &Rolleri, Ltd., an exhibit firm from Philadephia, to plan and design the new ocean exhibit. The displays were fabricated and installed by Formations Inc., a Portland, Oregon-based firm that specializes in interpretive exhibits.

The detailed and scientifically accurate murals were created digitally by an accomplished wildlife and natural history artist from New Mexico, Karen Carr. Carr has displayed her artwork, in both traditional and electronic media, in publications, zoos, museums and parks across the United States, Japan and Europe.

Los Angeles-based mural and wall painting artist Jeanine Hattis created the tower exhibit color transitions from the dark deep sea to the lighter blue sky surface. Hattis has created well over 1000 custom murals and art for businesses, homeowners and municipalities across the United States.

The ocean exhibit features stunning images from many well-known Channel Islands photographers including Antonio Busiello, Richard Salas, Dan Harding, Robert Schwemmer, Shane Anderson, Jeff Bozanic, and Tim Hauf.

Local students and families participated in the planning and exhibit design process. The displays are in Spanish and English and include tactile and sound features for visitors with disabilities. The exhibit was funded by entrance, campground, and wilderness fees from all national parks.

About the Ocean Photography Collection
Over half of Channel Islands National Park is in the sea. Our rich ocean resources are captured in this collection of photographs. These images allow us to experience this part of the park without ever getting wet. They inspire us to protect our Channel Islands, our ocean, and our world. Works from the following artists are featured in this collection:

Antonio Busiello, an award-winning documentary and fine art photographer, has captured top prizes from the BBC, National Geographic, the National Wildlife Federation, Nature Best Photography, Ciwem - Environmental Photographer of the Year and, most recently, the Royal Photographic Society. His images have appeared inmedia including BBC Wildlife Magazine, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Scuba Diving magazines, The Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. A native of Italy, Antonio studied anthropology at the University of Naples and then started traveling the world to focus on photography. He is currently working on a new book, Underwater Colors of the Channel Islands.

Tim Hauf has been a professional photographer since the early 1990s. His photographs have been featured in numerous publications throughout the world, including Islands, Sunset, Asia Pacific Travel, Mini-World (Japan), Explore (Canada), Terre Sauvage (France), Dove (Italy), South Africa Times, USA Today, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many others. His list of published books include unique destinations such as the Himalaya of Nepal;South America's remote Patagonia;the rugged wilderness of northern Manitoba, Canada;South Africa's remarkable World Heritage Sites;Ventura County;and Channel Islands National Park.

Richard Salas specializes in underwater nature and commercial shoots. Richard's underwater work spans the Pacific coast of from Alaska to the Equator. It is collected in a series of stunning photography essays: the Sea of Light Trilogy. The first in the series, Sea of Light (2009), is dedicated to the underwater denizens of the beloved Santa Barbara Channel. His masterful photography has led Richard into speaking engagements, workshops, and exhibits at the Ty Warner Sea Center, The Long Beach Aquarium, the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, and other venues from Mexico to Canada. Richard's studio, A.S.K. Studio, is based in Santa Barbara, CA.

National Park Service Submerged Resources Center is a unit of underwater archeologists and photographers that support stewardship for the protection, preservation, public access and interpretation of submerged resources. Photos by Submerged Resource Center staff member Brett Seymour.

Jeff Bozanic began scuba diving in 1972 while a high school student living in Southern California. In college he studied underwater technology, geology, oceanography, and education. He has participated in over 70 scientific expeditions, scuba diving to collect animals, data and photographs from all seven continents. Jeff has written several books on diving, and hundreds of articles on dive safety. He currently resides in Huntington Beach where he conducts advanced scuba instruction and is raising his three children.

About the Ocean and the Channel Islands
The ocean covers 70 percent of Earth. It sustains us in many ways. It influences our weather and climate and provides us with much of the oxygen we breathe. Our lives are intertwined with the ocean. We depend on it for food, medicine, and natural resources. We rely upon the ocean for recreation, relaxation, and inspiration.

The Channel Islands are home to one of the most biologically diverse concentrations of marine life in the world. The rich mixture of warm and cold currents and the upwelling of nutrients support over 2,000 plant and animals species including 60 species of marine birds, 27 species of whales and dolphins, and five species of seals and sea lions.

Channel Islands National Park encompasses five of the eight California Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their surrounding ocean environment, preserving a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Channel Islands National Park was established as our 40th national park on March 5, 1980.

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary protects the marine resources extending from the island shorelines to six miles offshore, and encompasses a rich diversity of marine life, habitats, and historical and cultural resources.

Last updated: March 11, 2015

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Ventura, CA 93001


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