Felton photographer presents ‘Wonders of the Sea’ exhibit – Press Banner

A self-proclaimed renaissance man, Felton’s Marc Shargel is a identify quite a few have come to know and recognize. 

Shargel has extensive experienced a calling to and fascination in all things maritime-based mostly, and his a long time of underwater pictures have resulted in 3 volumes of coffee desk publications titled, “Wonders of the Sea.” Each and every book is filled with vividly amazing photography and entire explanations of each individual photo’s subject matter from strawberry anemones to harbor seals to a visible tour of distinct maritime habitats, Shargel’s do the job is unmatched. 

His studio is loaded with illustrations or photos that welcome observers to choose a deep breath and submerge on their own into the realm of the cold, nutrient-abundant waters that support the Monterey Bay Nationwide Maritime Sanctuary.

The photographer is perfectly-identified to neighborhood artwork fans as very well: his residence-studio is a standard halt on the Santa Cruz County Open up Studios tour every single October, as nicely as the more recent San Lorenzo Valley Artwork Tour each Could. 

His pictures incorporates placid vistas beneath sunlit kelp forests, and encounters with anything from jewel-like snails to swarming jellies and substantial sharks. He has introduced at practically each and every dive club in the bigger Bay Area, and dozens of civic organizations as effectively.

Marc Shargel

On Feb. 3, Shargel will peel off his wetsuit and flippers to present a spouse and children-friendly converse at the Monterey Bay Countrywide Maritime Sanctuary Exploration Heart, 35 Pacific Ave., in Santa Cruz, throughout the road from the Santa Cruz Wharf. 

Shargel’s photograph display will be on display from Jan. 26 by means of Feb. 28 at the Centre, with the First Friday month-to-month Art Tour occasion functioning from 4 to 7pm, and Shargel’s presentation at 5:45.

Shargel has noticed slow but relentless decreases in maritime daily life in excess of 45 yrs of diving. 

Given that 1997, he has been a winner for marine reserves, which are no-get regions that functionality as refuges and nurseries for the existence in our ocean. He performed an integral component in drawing the boundaries for new maritime reserves along the Central Coastline. Renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle calls them “hope spots.” 

But in 2013, just 6 yrs after the new reserves went into influence, beautiful improvements in marine lifestyle revealed a new threat—the decimation of the kelp forests along the coast owing to the explosion of the sea urchin populace. 

“In 2013, nearly every single sea star living on the coastline of North The united states died. This was a mass die-off that was induced by an underwater pandemic that was lethal. Within two decades, the sea stars had all commenced to arrive back, save just one species,” Shargel reported.

Sunflower Stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides), whom Shargel has nicknamed the “Great White Shark” of the sea star loved ones thanks to its incredible predatory power, on a regular basis feasted on urchins, trying to keep their quantities down.

“These creatures are a few toes across from tip to idea, and despite the fact that they go at a snail’s tempo, they’re 2 times as quick as any other sea star. It is the top predator of matters that cling to the bottom of the ocean,” he said.

When the Sunflower Stars had been killed in the mass die-off, the urchins started to amass in the region to love their favored foods: sea kelp. 

With extra urchins feasting on the kelp and no signifies to mitigate the harm, the entire ecosystem is underneath assault, and it is not just influencing creatures with gills the Southern Sea Otter, which life along the California coastline from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara, relies on kelp for its biosphere. 

As the kelp forests are consumed by out-of-handle urchins, otters are in danger of getting their habitat completely altered by the destruction, resulting in an oceanic desert.

These are just some of the tales that Shargel desires land-lubbers to hear. 

“I enjoy diving in neighborhood waters because it’s so inspiring and stunning, and at the similar time, I want to bring consciousness to this ecological crash we’re living as a result of. We’re all interconnected in a massive website, and this subject impacts us all,” Shargel mentioned.

Choose a virtual dive by way of the Monterey Bay Countrywide Maritime Sanctuary with Shargel on Friday, Feb. 3, at the Exploration Middle. For extra information, take a look at montereybay.noaa.gov. To study extra about Shargel’s function, check out LivingSeaImages.com.