Author Bryn Bernard offers a fascinating look at the future of our oceans at Laguna Beach Library on June 26

Laguna Beach Library welcomes Bryn Bernard to its author event on Mon, June 26, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Bryn is a former Laguna Beach resident (he graduated from LBHS), and is now a Washington resident, teaching art in Busan, Korea. His new illustrated book about oceanic degradation, The New Ocean, was published in May.

The New Ocean is a fascinating look at the future of our oceans, and how human actions may change them. The Earth is covered mostly with water: the wide, deep, salty, and very blue ocean. It regulates our climate in a way that makes life as we know it possible. This huge ocean is full of an amazing amount of life, most of which is too small to see. 

But life in the ocean is in trouble. The ocean is becoming hotter, more polluted, and, in places, empty of life. Global warming, pollution, and overfishing are creating a new ocean, in which life is changing drastically. This book tells the stories of the probable fates of six sea dwellers: jellyfish, orcas, sea turtles, tuna, corals, and blue-green algae. What becomes of them may help readers understand what becomes of us.

The LBL is located at 363 Glenneyre St. For further information, call 949-497-1733.

Shark Tales: Is it safe to go back in the water?


No matter what residents read in the news or see on television, it is safe to go in the water – when swimming near a lifeguard. At least in Laguna Beach waters. But recent sightings up and down the coast have raised concerns. When someone mentions shark, everyone pays attention. 

However, fears were calmed at a recent City Council meeting, when attendees had the opportunity to gather valuable information on the Regional Shark Policies from Kevin Snow, Marine Safety Chief, Jeremy Frimond, Marine Protection Officer, and Dr. Chris Lowe, an expert on white shark behavior.

Shark baby boom

Dr. Lowe, Professor of Marine Biology and Director of the Shark Lab at CSLB, says it is true that the number of shark babies has been steadily growing. (The white shark protection acts of 1994 and 2005 helped the recovery.) Southern California is a historic nursery habitat, but right now, Laguna Beach is not a hot spot. It isn’t known how or why sharks pick hot spots, but they remain as selected nursery habitats for several months at a time. 

The females give birth from May through October and then go out to sea for 18 months. The babies normally hang out at that beach for 30-40 days, and then hopscotch to another hot spot. The hot spots are north of Laguna, Belmont Shores and Sunset Beach, where they’ve seen juveniles from one - to four years, and south off Dana Point, where one - to five-year-olds have been spotted, approximately five to eight feet in length.

It’s unusual, Dr. Lowe said, to see older sharks this early in the season. The number normally peaks in July and August, but they’ve been seen this year as early as March. The reason is unknown. Dr. Lowe said they tagged two off Dana Point on the day of the council meeting. Last month, Shark Tours in Dana Point reported seeing five great whites, but again, they were all juveniles. 

Regionally uniform signage

In the Southern California area, over the last forty years, there have only been four shark bites, all non-fatal. Even though the potential for bites does exist, the likelihood is low.

What is the Laguna Beach Marine Department doing in response to the shark concerns? Evidently, quite a lot, and not just due to the recent fears. Chief Snow explained the proactive measures their department has undertaken regarding shark awareness, which include: public education, a robust training policy, collaborative efforts with the Public Safety Dept (firefighters and lifeguards), and regional experts. The department also employs a rescue watercraft and an unmanned aerial system. 

They use a public noticing system in the form of regional consistent signage from Newport Beach to San Diego. Additionally, the City website contains a special section for Marine Safety with a link to shark information.  

No confirmed sightings in Laguna waters

Although there has been an increase in calls due to the heightened consciousness, there have been no injuries. As reported by our Marine Safety Officers, there have been no verified sightings of sharks in our waters. However, they take reports of sightings very seriously and have a series of procedures and policies in place, including an algorithm form for quantifying sightings. 

Officer Frimond briefly went over the policies regarding the response to a report of a sighting, and then later expanded. “We use the location, size and behavior to determine if the particular animal could be a threat to the public’s safety, then respond accordingly. For example, a juvenile white shark passing through is likely not a threat. These animals are piscivores and typically wary of us. An adult white shark passing through a swim area could be a threat as they are carnivores and may perceive humans as a potential food source. 

“Any shark or wild animal actively feeding in a swim area could be a threat to ocean users. In general, humans should avoid contact with any wild animal that is actively feeding. Regardless of the above-mentioned scenarios, we would notify the public of a sighting in the area. If we determine the shark or animal to be a threat to public safety then we would issue a closure, and reassess conditions on a timeframe consistent with the regional policy.”

Policies regarding confirmed and unconfirmed sightings

Unconfirmed shark sightings are usually reports from a single individual without any supporting evidence or sightings by another party. Lifeguards continue to monitor the area and determine if other sources can confirm or deny the reported sighting. 

Confirmed shark sightings are reports from an individual confirmed by multiple individuals, a lifeguard or another City representative. In this case, lifeguards post the beach area up to one mile in each direction of the sighting with advisory signs indicating that a shark has been sighted. 

Lifeguards continue to monitor the area, and the posted signs remain in place until the area is re-evaluated the following morning. If additional shark sightings are confirmed the next day, the advisory signs remain in place until the area is re-evaluated the following morning. This process continues until the shark is no longer seen in the area.

Chief Snow concluded the presentation with the reminder that the ocean is wild and dynamic with sharks and hazardous conditions, but our lifeguards are trained to be vigilant. Public safety is always of the utmost concern, and Marine Safety will err on the side of caution if necessary. 

The audience came away with a great deal of knowledge and the confidence that it’s okay to go into the water, but most importantly, as Chief Snow said, “Swim near a lifeguard.”

Thank you, Chief Snow, Officer Frimond, and Dr. Lowe, for educating us and putting our minds at ease.

For further information regarding LB marine safety policies, go to

Slime, scat & smells: Kids will love learning the stinky side of science at the Ocean Institute this summer

The Ocean Institute, Orange County’s leading marine science, education, and maritime history center, today released its Family Fun events schedule detailing programs scheduled throughout the summer months.

The events began in June and continue through August. They’re designed to provide families an opportunity for hands-on experiential learning about ocean science and maritime history. From book readings to a themed overnight, from insects to the science of animal droppings, each event is uniquely created for those aged 2-10.

Tuesday, July 4, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. – Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise. Join staff of the Ocean Institute about the R/V Sea Explorer for a sunset cruise and unbeatable viewing of July 4 fireworks. Enjoy wine, beer, and light snacks.

Preregistration required: Cost: $65/adult (ages 13+), $45/child (ages 4-12) 

Saturday, July 22, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Story time with Laura Knight, author of Spot: a Sea Pup’s Survival Guide. Includes reading, book signing, and crafts. No registration required. Cost: Included in weekly admission: $10 per adult; $7.50 per child

Thursday, July 22, 6 – 8 p.m. – Family Science Night:  The Scoop on Poop: the Science of What is Left Behind with Ocean Institute’s Outdoor Education Team. Everybody poops and scientists use droppings, or “scat,” to learn about the animals they study. From migration patterns to health and diet, poop tells the story of the organism’s life. 

Scientists even use fossilized dinosaur poop (coprolite) to tell them about the live of prehistoric animals. In this gross (but not too gross) presentation, scientists of all ages will get to become dropping detectives and learn how to unlock the secrets of dung!

Thursday, August 17, 6 - 8 p.m. – Family Science Night: SLIME!

Preregistration required:

Cost: $10/person ($9/member); $35/Family-4-Pack ($33/member Family-4-Pack)

Tuesday, July 11, 18, 25, and August 1, 8, 15, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Tiny Tots: Parent & Me Program – Sea Adventures. For parents and their children aged 2-3.

This six-week adventure is designed to explore shapes, colors, textures and everyone’s favorite tide pool creature – the sea star. Each session includes exploration, an animal encounter, and an activity. 

Preregistration required: Cost for the series (available until July 11): $150 for all six classes; drop-in rates are $30/class.

Weekends starting July 11 – Grossology! Hands-on exploration in the Slime Lab, Scat Lab, and Smell Labs. Visitors will have the opportunity to: 

Learn how to make the stickiest, gooiest slime and why different animals produce slime

Determine what animal left their scat behind in the lab, and the reason why and scientists study animal ‘scat’

Find out what the seashore, kelp forest, and the deep sea smell like, and where the distinct smells come from. Cost: Included in weekend admission: $10.00 per adult/ $7.50 children and seniors

These programs will take place at The Ocean Institute, Dana Point Harbor at 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive.

The Ocean Institute, founded in 1977 as the Orange County Marine Institute, is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The Institute includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tall ships, and an oceanographic research vessel.

The Ocean Institute, which educates 250,000 visitors annually, is located on 2.4 acres in the Dana Point Harbor adjacent to a Marine Life Conservation Area To learn more visit

Village Laguna Meeting on June 26 focuses on preserving historical structures in Laguna Beach

On Mon, June 26, at 7 p.m., a general meeting of Village Laguna will be held at Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, 429 Cypress Dr, to discuss saving historical structures in Laguna Beach.

Ann Christoph, landscape architect, former mayor and preservation activist, will present a visual program explaining the background of historical preservation in LB, and the importance and benefits of keeping contributive structures (C-rated) as historical resources.  

Founded in 1971, this non-profit mutual-benefit community organization began when concerned citizens opposed the construction of high rise buildings along the legendary Laguna Beach coastline and helped create Main Beach Park. 

Since then, Village Laguna’s goals have expanded to encompass their mission statement to preserve, enhance, and celebrate the unique village character and cultural heritage of Laguna Beach; to foster community spirit and address social needs; and to work toward restoring and protecting our ocean and coastal habitats.

Bends and blends go well together on Global Wellness Day at Montage Laguna Beach


It’s always nice when your editor asks you if you would like to attend a free yoga class at Montage Laguna Beach on an early Saturday morning…I love Montage and I love yoga, however I don’t consider myself to be a bendy, which is my affectionate term for a yogi. I had been avoiding yoga for a few months, after taking a very tough class and hurting my shoulder, however I thought this was a perfect setting to “get back on my mat” – so with my Lululemons on and my mat in hand I made my way to Laguna Beach’s Montage Resort.

The class, a collaborative event, was in celebration of Global Wellness Day, with its slogan “One Day Can Change your Life.” 

Project Juice, located in Laguna Beach (amongst other locations) were there to support this with an array of delicious juices.

I asked for some advice about what smoothies are best for “bendies.” Marra St. Clair, co-founder of Project Juice suggested a Strawberry Maca smoothie before class for its energy boosting coconut, strawberries and maca – a superfood root that is a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants. 

“The newest smoothie on the menu is the summer seasonal using the Watermelon Berry cold-pressed juice. With a layer of chia seeds and energy-producing matcha and goji berries, it’s a great fuel tool for your next workout,” Marra recommended. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Watermelon Berry smoothie

I was so glad to hear that because I love their watermelon smoothies. 

Project Juice had a bunch more recommendations from beet juice to gluten-free toasts including avocado, “ricotta” beet or banana almond butter.

For a post-yoga pick-up they recommend a Buff Beatnik – house-made almond mylk combined with blueberries, banana, spinach, almond butter, dates, brown rice protein, hemp seeds and cinnamon. This powerful combination helps to repair muscles, replace vital proteins and satiate that hunger, says Project Juice. 

If you’d rather make your own protein shake at home, Project Juice also offers take-home protein powder, with its Superfood Vanilla Blend, which delivers 17 grams of plant-powered protein per serving. 

Also present were Lake Forest Based Skincare Kerstin Florian, whose luxury skincare products are natural, chemical free, organic and seriously divine. 

Yoga with good company in a beautiful spot

The class itself took place in the ballroom and I was surprised to see so many local “bendies” including Ava and Gabby Levine formally of Ritual Yoga in Laguna Beach, which sadly closed a month ago. As much as it was nice to see these ladies, plus many other bendies, I was immediately filled with a sense of dread. These ladies left the womb doing the Bird of Paradise pose. How on earth would I, the stiff brick, be able to keep up?

As I lay on my mat, trying to relax and clear my mind, I felt my anxiety rise and my imagination go into overdrive.  I thought of myself being stretchered out after trying to do an energetic dog flip or camel pose. So high was my anxiety that suddenly I felt a little too hot, like I was creating my own Bikram environment.  

Then I heard it, the sound.  I didn’t realize, but this was a sound healing yoga session. Immediately I felt at ease. At times the sound was really loud, but that only relaxed me more as the waves vibrated through my body.  

Leading the practice was Alex Durham, a fellow Brit originating from Leicestershire, England who has lived over here for nine years, teaching in Ladera Ranch. She guided us through this gentle flow as Ava took us on our sound journey. 

Submitted photo

Buckle does the bendy thing

The whole experience was that of pure joy and the practice could be as hard or as easy as you wanted to make it. I even managed to flip my dog and camel without the arrival of any emergency services.

I felt comfortable and confident in my practice. Afterwards we were treated to tastes of several cold pressed juices and a goody bag full of delicious skincare. 

So did one day change my life? Well I have since attended four yoga classes and fallen in love with my mat once again, so who knows? Maybe it has.

(Project Juice is located at 1100 S Coast Hwy.)

Everything checked out fine, including the weather, at KX 93.5 FM’s dinner on the lawn at Montage

Last week, Laguna Beach’s independent nonprofit radio station, KX 93.5, held its second annual KXClusive, welcoming celebrity chefs, music, and entertainers for an evening of food and fun at Montage Resort’s Grand Lawn. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Laura Buckle

KX 93.5’s Jason Feddy, well-known local musician, checks out the scene

Led Zepagain, a Jimmy Paige-endorsed Led Zeppelin tribute act, headlined. Supporting performers include 17 year-old rocker Nick Brodeur and duo “92629.” 

“We’ve gotten nothing but positive responses from our attendees. Turns out, people like a party on the Montage lawn!” says Tyler Russell, founder of KX 93.5 “We know there are a lot of non-profits to consider supporting in Laguna Beach, so we are grateful that independent radio is in people’s hearts, and we look forward to growing this year by year.”

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Photo courtesy KX 93.5

The bidding was lively during the auction

“Money raised will support the station’s operations, programming, and its ability to be a reliable broadcast resource in the event of a local emergency,” Russell added.

A silent and live auction featured priceless experiences like tickets to a late-night show taping, a private in-home catered dinner, and a trip to Telluride, CO. 

The event was held outdoors on Montage’s Grand and Pacific Lawns, overlooking the ocean bluff. For more information, contact Tyler Russell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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