A Splash Of 'Urban Ocean' On A Southern California Cruise

Posted: May 6, 2013  |  By: Kirk Siegler [NPR]

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., sounds like a picturesque summer outing. But the Urban Ocean boat cruise highlights the juxtaposition of a powerful port with a fragile ecosystem: You're just as likely to see trash as you are to see marine life.

In front of the aquarium, school kids are running around, eager to go inside and pet the sharks and see the penguins. There's also a marina, where a small passenger boat called the Cristina shoves off from sunny Shoreline Aquatic Park.

Instead of taking a left for a scenic cruise down along the famous beaches of Southern California, it veers right, and into the country's busiest shipping terminal and the mouth of the LA River.

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