Dive into science at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

It's not every day you can view life from a worm's point ofview. But at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium's recently opened ExplorationCenter in San Pedro, children and adults can "be the worm"meandering through an oversize simulated mudflat. If that doesn'tgrab you, wander into the "crawl-under tank" and observe sea lifeswirling about you. The interactive Exploration Center is part of a$10 million expansion, the first major addition since the aquariummoved to its current location in 1981. The new building also housesan Aquatic Nursery, in which docents guide you through fouraquaculture areas where fish, invertebrates, and the single-cellorganisms that start the ocean food chain are raised; the nurseryuses the creatures for research and for feeding the rest of thelab�s sea life. "This is a place where we growyoung sea animals and young scientists," says exhibits directorMike Schaadt.

Visitors can also wander to neighboring Cabrillo Beach toexplore the tidepools, mudflats, and salt marsh, an experience thatlets young and old get their feet wet. Literally.

INFO: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (12-5 Tue-Fri, 10-5 Sat-Sun; $5 donation requested, $1 donationchildren and seniors; 3720 Stephen White Dr., San Pedro; www.cabrilloaq.org or310/548-7562)

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