Coast to Cactus Opening Jan. 17 in San Diego

The all-inclusive Southern California bio-region – under one roof? Is it possible to convey the complexities and intricacies of the diversity we have around us in one exhibit? After all, our SoCal terrain is one of only 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world given our high concentration of different species of any geographic area of similar size.

Well, the folks at the San Diego Natural History Museum are going to give it their best shot at showcasing and explaining how all this wonderful diversity came into being.

Opening January 17, Coast to Cactus highlights the flora and fauna of the native land right outside our doorways, across our neighborhoods and on the outskirts of our communities. Beaches and chaparral, mountains and deserts – all ranges of the spectrum will be covered in the ambitious exhibition.

BOARD PALLET -- Coast to Canyon presents the Southland's ecosystems, critters and all. PHOTO BY PABLO MASO
BOARD PALLET — Coast to Canyon presents the Southland’s ecosystems, critters and all. PHOTO BY PABLO MASON

The exhibit is located right next to the Fossil Mysteries which describes the Southland’s prehistoric past – the perfect transition to today’s landscape.

Coast to Cactus will consist of specimens from the museum’s scientific collections, alongside hands-on interactive exhibits, live animals and other high-tech (and low-tech) displays.

INTERACTIVE - Many displays at Coast to Canyon will employ high technology aspects; some will be simpler but just as effective.
INTERACTIVE – Sometimes low-tech displays are just as effective in explaining the topic. PHOTO: MICHAEL FIELD

Some of the exhibition’s main attractions include lessons in: critter survival in the tidal mud flats, human/nature shared spaces and the impact of introduced species on native plants and animals, the history of periodic fires in the chaparral, how deserts come to life after the sun sets, and how humans (past and present) have worked to understand the SoCal habitats through time.

Needless to say, we can’t wait to check out this exhibit.

DESERT NIGHT - Gaining an appreciation for SoCal PHOTO: PABLO MASON
DESERT NIGHT – You’re not alone when camping out in the desert at nighttime. PHOTO: PABLO MASON