In 1940, author John Steinbeck and scientist Ed
Ricketts made a momentous voyage down the peninsula of Baja California and
around the Sea of Cortez (the Gulf of California). In 2004, a group of
scientists set out to revisit the sites explored by the earlier expedition.
Return to the Sea of Cortez is the story, in English and Spanish, of
Steinbeck and Ricketts set out in their boat, the
Western Flyer, to discover all they could of the marine biology in the
tidewater areas of the gulf. The expedition of 2004, 64 years later in
the vessel Gus D, revisited the original field sites and compared the
results to those observed by Steinbeck and Ricketts in 1940.
You will meet the scientists and crews of both
expeditions, learn the scientific techniques of marine biological survey,
share the adventure of costal exploration, and learn of the efforts to
preserve the region’s faunas and ecosystems.
Discover fireworms, argonauts, brittle stars, sun
stars, urchins, anemones, snails, limpets and sally lightfoot crabs aplenty!
Then and Now: discover how the gulf’s ecosystems
have changed over time. Numbers of large fish, sharks, and sea turtles
are way down, as are some invertebrates, such as echinoderms like brittle
stars, urchins, cucumbers and sea stars. Numbers of jumbo squid and
vermetids, tube dwelling snails that attach to rocks, are way up.
Learn of the communities of La Paz, Cabo San Lucas,
Punta Lobos, and Cayo, remote areas such as Marcial, and the islands of Isla
Rasa, Tiburon and Isla Angel de la Guarda. See how local kids learn to
care about the ocean.
Fun for all ages!
Return to the Sea of Cortez was organized by
Nancy Burnett with support from Chuck Baxter, William Gilly and Exequiel
www.seaofcortez.org for logs of the journey, teacher’s guides and much
53 N. Macdonald
Mesa, AZ 85201
(One block north of Main Street in downtown Mesa. Take US 60 or 202 to
Country Club Drive, go to Main Street, and proceed one-half mile east to