Today we have something a little different for you guys!

Last summer we teamed up with Concordia University Irvine Marine Lab to learn all about running an educational marine lab. During our time together they invited me out on a dive trip to collect some new animals for their interactive touch tanks and for research back at the lab. Stick around to watch our adventures and learn a little about the wonderful world of marine science.

We headed out of Dana Point California around 6 am.

After getting the gear loaded we motored out about 1 mile south of the harbor to a local reef.

While on the way our Journey was interrupted by a free floating paddy of giant kelp that detached from the ocean’s floor.

These bunches of kelp bounce around the coast and are prime habitat for a myriad of sea life, especially baby fish which use the kelp as protection while floating amongst the ocean collecting planktonic foods. The kelp was chock-full of mysid shrimp which we collected as a special treat to feed the animals back at the lab.

One we anchored up over the reef, Sean and his partner Noah, suited up and made their way to the ocean floor.

While I manned the boat at the surface, I could not pass the opportunity to do a little fishing of my own.

Visibility underwater was rough that day but the guys managed to find a ton of interesting animals to bring back to the lab.

Upon our return, we cleaned up the boat and I stuck around to help them acclimate everything into the lab systems. What a treat it was to work side by side with these guys. My experience with aquariums came in quite handy during the process and during the down time we talked all about the different coldwater reef animals found off of our coast.

Sean also showed me a fun little project he does with the kids who attend their touch tank events using alginate, a material extracted from brown seaweed. You can find some links in the video description below to learn more.

The main intent of our trip was to restock the lab with animals for the touch tanks along with a few special animals to study in the lab, including this octopus who was not shy about expressing his discontent with the situation.

I want to send another big thank you to Sean and his crew of marine biology students over at Concordia University Irvine for letting us tag along and share this with all of you guys. If you have questions or wish to learn more, please leave us a comment below and be sure to subscribe so you can stay up to date with all of the latest Marine Depot videos.

Until next time, take care and happy reefkeeping.


A Trip to the Tide Pools with Concordia University Marine Lab

Marine Lab Tour at Concordia University Irvine: 2000 Gallons with 50 Local Species!