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Our Community Reads


The Friends of the Aptos Library designed this program to bring members of the Santa Cruz County community together around one book. Over 40 Friends of the Library voted to select the winner, and on October 1, 2018 we announced the winning book:

The Death & Life of Monterey Bay
by Stephen R. Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka

The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival is the biography of a place, but also of the residents who reclaimed it - even residents on this idyllic California coast may not realize its full history. Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. When the fish ran out and the climate turned, the factories emptied and the community crumbled. Today, Monterey’s economy and wildlife are resplendent... through the extraordinary acts of ordinary people. The shores of Monterey Bay revived because of human passion – passion that enlivens every page of this hopeful book.

Join us for these events in the 2019 Season of Our Community Reads:

January 10 - Aptos Library Book Group Discussion of Death & Life of Monterey Bay, led by Judy McNeely. ~ Aptos Library Conference Room ~ 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

January 16 - La Selva Beach Library Book Group Discussion of Death & Life of Monterey Bay ~ La Selva Beach Library, 314 Estrella Avenue. ~ 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

January 22 – Film Series ~ Saving Otter 501. Presented by Michelle Staedler, Otter Expert at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA). The film follows the 501st otter pup to be rescued by the aquarium from the time she is found stranded on a beach through her rehabilitation and release into the wild. Learn about MBA’s otter rescue program and why otters are such an important species for Monterey Bay. Popcorn provided. Show your library card and get a free cookie! ~ Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Monschke Hall, Room 7100. ~ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. For map and directions click here.

January 26 – *Speaker Series ~ Dan Haifley, Director, O’Neill Sea Odyssey and Newspaper Columnist, in collaboration with the Aptos History Museum, presents: “The Death and Life of Monterey Bay.” $10 donation requested to benefit the Aptos History Museum. ~ Rio Sands Community Room, 116 Aptos Beach Drive. ~ 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

January 30 – Panel Discussion ~ Monterey Bay: Today’s Heroes. Interested in current work to preserve Monterey Bay? Who are the present day heroes? This panel of scientists will discuss their research to promote the health of Monterey Bay. The panel includes: Dr. Richard Starr, Moss Landing Marine Labs; Ross Clark, Central Coast Wetlands Group; Dr. Melissa Miller, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife; Dr. Jim Barry, Research Chair, Monterey Bay Aquarium; and Dr. John Hunt, Research Toxicologist, UC Davis will moderate the discussion and questions from the audience after the presentations. For more details on this event click here. ~ La Selva Beach Clubhouse, 314 Estrella Avenue. ~ 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY 2019 – Display of wonderful, award-winning, picture books about beaches, sea life, and environmental preservation. Selected by Julie Olsen Edwards, Director of Cabrillo College Peace and Anti-Bias Library. ~ Youth Services Room of the Aptos Library.

February 6 - La Selva Beach Library Film Night will feature Saving Otter 501. ~ La Selva Beach Library, 314 Estrella Avenue. ~ 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

February 7 – Speaker Series ~ Nicole Crane, Cabrillo College faculty in Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences, presents her documentary: “Sustainable oceans: coral reef management in the Western Pacific” and will discuss positive developments in the field of ocean management. Nicole is Project co-lead for One People, One Reef, a group of communities and scientists working together to maintain the health of the reefs and of the people of the Micronesian Outer Islands. She is the co-chair of the Santa Cruz Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Collaborative, and a member of the California MPA, which works to steward California’s 124+ marine protected areas. ~ Cabrillo Horticulture Building, Room 5005, 6500 Soquel Drive. ~ 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. For map directions click here.

February 9 – Save Our Shores Beach Clean-up at Rio Del Mar Beach. Come pitch in to help keep our beaches clean and safe! A fun and rewarding activity for the whole family! For more details on this event click here. ~ Rio Del Mar Beach ~ Meet at the Esplanade ~ 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

February 12 – Speaker Series ~ Mark Silberstein, Executive Director, Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF): “The Return of the Slough: Fifty years of Conservation at the Heart of Monterey Bay- the story of Elkhorn Slough.” Following the theme of Steve Palumbi’s book The Death and Life of Monterey Bay the story of Elkhorn Slough is an optimistic tale of the rebirth of one of California’s iconic coastal wetlands. Visionary and dedicated community members changed the trajectory of Elkhorn Slough from a shrinking and degraded backwater to one of the shining examples of positive coastal conservation. Elkhorn Slough Foundation, has worked with the community for the past several decades and Mark will share stories of the restoration and stewardship of the slough, the progress and the challenges ahead for this rich environment. ~ Rio Sands Community Room, 116 Aptos Beach Drive. ~ 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

February 19 – Trivia Night ~ Come show off your knowledge of facts from the book, The Death & Life of Monterey Bay. County Supervisor, Zach Friend, will be our Emcee and conduct the festivities. Bring your book clubs! Food & drink available for purchase. ~ Seascape Golf Club, 610 Club House Drive. 6 – 8 p.m. ~ RSVP required:

February 21 – Authors Talk ~ Join us for a conversation with Author Stephen Palumbi, Professor, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Author Carolyn Sotka, Professor of Marine Biology, College of Charleston, and Mark Carr, Professor of Biology, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz, as they discuss the fascinating history of Monterey Bay and the people who have had an impact on its inhabitants, both human and marine. Co-sponsored by Save Our Shores. Introduction by Nicole Crane, Cabrillo College Marine Biology and Environmental Sciences. ~ Cabrillo College Samper Recital Hall ~ 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

February 27 – Film Series ~ Of the Sea. Presented by Melissa Mahoney, Co-producer and board member of Monterey Bay Fisheries Trust. Fishermen are the stewards of the last wild food on our planet. What can we learn from fishermen about the ocean and our relationship to it? Struggling to revive a fading way of life, fishermen and entrepreneurs are creating new models for how to support sustainably produced seafood. Of the Sea tells the story of California fishing communities and presents a compelling story of the future of sustainable seafood. Popcorn provided. Show your library card and get a free cookie! ~ Aptos Library Conference Room ~ 6:30–8:30 pm.

March 2 – *Docent-led walk at Elkhorn Slough. Having learned about the slough in Mark Silberstein’s talk on February 12, come see for yourself what the slough is all about, and learn more about the area. Elkhorn Slough was designated a Wetland of international Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. This is a beautiful hiking spot, with largely flat trails that are perfect for an easy walk. Trails lead through marshes, woodlands and alongside tidal creeks where you can see pelicans, herons, egrets, sea lions, crabs, otters and… maybe sharks! 9:30 a.m. start time and a 10 a.m. to noon hike around South Marsh Loop, brings you back in time to either set up a picnic lunch or head to Moss Landing for local eats. ~ Elkhorn Slough Visitor Center ~ 9:30 a.m. to noon.

March 7 – Aptos High School and Delta School “Art and Poetry” Event. Students will present original works of poetry, and personal stories relating to the book. An exhibition will be on display by AHS art students and Delta School students as a competition to redesign the book jacket of The Death and Life of Monterey Bay. Come see and applaud the creativity and imagination of these young people! ~ Aptos High School Performing Arts Building ~ 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

March 10 – *Elkhorn Slough Boat Safari. Playful sea otters, curious harbor seals, boisterous sea lions, and hundreds of bird species abound as you explore one of California's most spectacular wetlands aboard a stable, 27-foot, U.S. Coast Guard-inspected pontoon boat. Fun and informative for the whole family! $30 per person, only 22 seats available. ~ Dock A, Moss Landing South Harbor, 7881 Sandholdt Road ~ 11 a.m.–1 p.m. ~ RSVP required. This event is now full. To get on wait list write to us at:

March 14 – Lunch with Steinbeck ~ Topsy Smalley, Research Librarian and Cabrillo College Librarian Emerita will lead a fun discussion of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Come get your literary fix and enjoy delicious barbeque, while discussing this timeless tale of Doc (based on the real Ed Ricketts) and the colorful characters who inhabit this tale of the cannery district of Monterey during Steinbeck’s time. For a taste of this Steinbeck classic click here. Bring your friends to this fun and yummy fundraising event: 15% of the proceeds will be donated by Aptos St. BBQ to the Friends of the Aptos Library ~ Aptos St. BBQ, 8059 Aptos St. ~ 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

View similarly tagged posts: Santa Cruz, SCPL Friends, Events, Teens, Authors, Discussions
Posted by cowend on Jan. 24, 2019 at 11:14 a.m.



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