The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) will be presenting “Santa Barbara Channel’s Whales and Their Climate Connection,” a free zoom webinar with Holly S. Lohuis, a Santa Barbara-area marine biologist, educator and naturalist.
The presentation will take place on Zoom on Thursday at 7 p.m. This presentation, which will share what Ms. Lohuis has learned through research on whales and their influence on the ecology of our oceans and the Santa Barbara Channel.
By increasing public awareness of the pressing challenges facing the health of whale populations, Ms. Lohuis hopes to help enhance our connection to and relationship with these animals and their ocean home.
“Whales have the power to inspire millions of people to care about our oceans. Let’s dive in together and learn more about our local whales,” said Ms. Lohuis.
Along with support from the Ocean Futures Society, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Condor Express and Island Packers, Ms. Lohuis is also helping to spearhead the effort to create a whale heritage site in the Santa Barbara Channel, under the World Cetacean Alliance.
She is working with a group of local whale enthusiasts including whale watching tour operators, naturalists, biologists, fishers, educators, resource managers, artists and local marine conservation NGOs. Her hope for the future is that the Santa Barbara Channel will be part of the growing network of Whale Heritage Sites in which whales are celebrated for their ecological role in enhancing ocean productivity and their economic value through responsible tourism. Such sites would prioritize conservation and research into reducing impacts on whale longevity and provide a space where people can learn about and appreciate the rich, complex lives of whales and dolphins.
The webinar is free, but registration is required, and donations are welcome. People can register at https://sbmm.org/santa-barbara-event/.
Ms. Lohuis’ twenty-eight-year career has taken her around the world with Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society’s expedition team. She has appeared in many of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s documentaries and was also featured as a diver and on camera biologist in the eleven hours of the PBS series, “Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures,” and his IMAX film, “Secret Ocean 3D.”
In addition to the Ocean Futures Society, she works for a variety of organizations including: Santa Barbara Maritime Museum’s Ocean Connections, Maritime on the Move, Marine Science programs and Island Packers’ Floating Classroom program at the Channel Islands National Park.
Ms. Lohuis has been a marine educator since 1991. For nearly a decade she worked as diver/naturalist with Island Packers, the Channel Islands National Park boats. She then moved on to a more global arena, working with Passage Productions-Live Dive organization on cruise ships in the Caribbean, Pacific and Mediterranean. She was the on-site marine biologist at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort for eighteen months, during which time she shared her wealth of knowledge about the importance of protecting our water for future generations with guests and the local villagers.