By Kyle Hall
Because Shark Week is, like 83 days too short, the salty sea-folk at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography are holding their very own, appropriate-length celebration of the apex predators - Shark Summer.
In addition to bi-weekly lectures and a new exhibit paying homage to San Diego's famed leopard sharks, the aquarium is extending its reach down the hill with offsite programs for all ages. The bravest of explorers can participate in six close-encounter snorkeling excursions in the shallow waters off La Jolla Shores, where leopard sharks tend to school. Those unconvinced by Wikipedia's bold claims of the harmlessness of the breed will want to stick to the surface on a Shark and Wildlife Kayak Adventure, where paddlers can stay high-and-dry while learning why La Jolla's Matlahuayl Marine Reserve is a popular destination for these scary-looking fish.
As if having youth weren't enviable enough, Fourth through Sixth Graders can take part in Birch's newest and definitely coolest summer camp - Shark Encounters. Extremely awesome parents now have the opportunity to sign their progeny up for one of four five-day sessions that will enable the youngins to learn the importance of conservation, take part in hands-on activities and, ultimately, brag to all of their friends that they got to spend the summer swimming with freakin' sharks!
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla