The NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Grove Mural: Green Seas/Blue Seas
The California Current, Climate Change and Sustainable Fisheries
NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Pacific Grove recognizes the long and vibrant heritage of fishing, scientific research and management in Monterey Bay and along the entire U.S. west coast, by crowning the building with a vibrant public mural. Through the telling of the 100-year legacy of the sardine fishery, the mural illustrates how fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and other marine fauna respond to changes in ocean conditions. Using different shades of color, green for high ocean productivity, and blue for low ocean productivity, visitors can see the different species that flourish in one regime over another. These alternating climate regimes are most closely identified with sudden and dramatic shifts between regional fisheries for California sardine and northern anchovy. This is illustrated in the mural by changing the composition of fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles whose presence and abundance in Monterey Bay and adjacent waters of the California Current is tied to these regimes and the sardines and anchovies on which many feed. The mural also illustrates the historic and current research ships and technologies used by fisheries scientists and the innovations in fishing vessels and gear that have occurred over the past several decades. Together, the images depict the interrelatedness of humans, marine animals and climate change as the mural follows the legendary sardine fishery which crashed off Monterey in the 1940's and then eventually returned as the system recovered through enhanced scientific knowledge, better management and changing ocean conditions.
The mural images were created by renowned artist Ray Troll and painted on 32 separate panels by public artist Roberto Salas and his team. The panels were then mounted by crane on the outside of NOAA Fisheries building to form a crowning fresco. The mural is approximately 6 feet 8 inches high and 400 feet long and is the fourth designated by the city of Pacific Grove's Historical Mural Project . The mural was funded by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center and by a grant from NOAA's Preserve America Initiative Grants (PAIG), a program to preserve and showcase NOAA's historical legacy and to make them accessible to the public through innovative programs and partnerships.
Mural imagery will soon be available through our new Pacific Grove Mural and Photo Gallery pages (which are currently underconstruction) and through the Mural website at:
For additional Mural information download the Mural flyer fact sheet: Green Sea/Blue Sea: The California Current, Climate Change, and Sustainable Fisheries [3.5MB pdf]
Also visit the Green Seas, Blue Seas Mural Exhibit at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History in Pacific Grove, California.
The NOAA Fisheries' Interpretive Poster
Green Seas/Blue Seas: California Current Changing By Degrees
The full-sized color poster, "Greens Seas/Blue Seas: California Current Changing By Degrees" is based on the original artwork by Ray Troll used in the production of the Pacific Grove mural. The key below identifies each of the components (animals, people, places, science and fishing vessels, research equipment and fishing methods) found in each of the mural and poster panels.
Posters can be obtained by contacting Jessica.Lipsky@noaa.gov
The Environmental Research Division facility in scenic Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California sits on four beautiful acres that was formerly used by the United States government for the neighboring Point Pinos lighthouse which dates back to the mid-1800s. The Point Pinos lighthouse is the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the West Coast and has been in service since 1855.
Originally formed in 1969 as the Pacific Environmental Group, and later known as the Pacific Fisheries Environmental Laboratory (PFEL), the strategic location of the SWFSC Environmental Research Division on the Monterey Peninsula is based on the long-standing association with the U.S. Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center. This close relationship gives NMFS access to the global environmental data base, from which ERD develops and disseminates data sets and associated products and environmental indices relevant to fisheries and marine ecosystems. Fisheries scientists and resource managers use these products to characterize ocean properties and processes occurring within fishery habitats.
Over the past three and one-half decades, ERD has enjoyed an illustrious history. It is recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in research related to understanding environmental variability affecting marine fisheries over a broad range of scientific, management, and operational concerns, and for distributing environmental products and data bases that are critical to marine and climate research. ERD is also the west coast regional site for the NOAA CoastWatch program, which provides rapid dissemination of satellite observation data to governmental, academic, commercial, and public users.