It’s time to grab some sunscreen and strap on your walking shoes, because May 6 from 9 a.m. to noon the San Luis Obispo community is invited to attend the Cal Poly Pier open house event in Avila Beach.
The pier is one of the only university research piers in the state of California. It is used as a marine field station that Cal Poly students and faculty can use for class and research opportunities. It is usually closed to the general public, but the pier opens up once in fall and once in spring for the Central Coast community to take a look at work that is conducted throughout the year.
Students and faculty will have displays set up to showcase what they have been working on. There will also be touch tanks with small animals, a scuba experience where people can put on a mask and regulator to get the feeling of scuba diving. There will also be bigger projects such as a Cal Poly mechanical engineering design built for the Navy, which will make a trench in the sea floor.
“The open house is in recognition of our public which has a large amount of interest in the marine environment here,” Pier Marine Operations Manager Thomas Moylan said. “If you live in this area the ocean is a big part of your life, either by being influenced by the weather, or for recreation or commercial enterprise, but I think the real special thing is people can come and see that what we’re doing is local.”
The pier is 3,000 feet long and facilities include a flowing sea water laboratory where students can set up experiments with sea water flowing in, a scientific boating program with five vessels and a scientific diving program to conduct research in the open ocean.
“Because it’s an open house and everybody that has been working on projects will be here talking about them, it’s sort of a one stop shop for the marine science department and everybody involved in that,” Moylan said. “The best part is if you come down and see the pier in the morning, then you’re already down in Avila and you can spend the rest of the day there. If anywhere is going to have nice weather on Saturday, it’s going to be here.”
The open house is free.