Author at Solana Beach Library’s ‘Friends Night Out’ event to discuss coral reefs — past, present and future

A red-spotted Blenny, with head ornaments, has settled in a convenient cavity in the reef.
(Jonathan Lavan)

On Tuesday, March 17, the Friends of the Solana Beach Library will host an entertaining and educational evening with Chuck Weikert, author of the newly released book “Coral Reef Curiosities: Intrigue, Deception and Wonder on the Reef and Beyond.” Weikert will present a program appealing to snorkelers, scuba divers and armchair travelers alike — anyone curious about the life of coral reefs— past, present and future.

Speaker Chuck Weikert, author of Coral Reef Curiosities
(Rosemary Love)

In story and remarkable photos, he will reveal the secrets of fascinating creatures from the world’s tropical reefs, and their continuing connections with humankind, as expressed in art, science and literature. Meet the “Walking Fish of Ambon” and learn how it found a home in the first color guidebook to coral reef animals in 1718. Find out what role the snake-haired sorceress Medusa played in the origin of coral reefs. Learn how some moray eels team up with groupers for hunting expeditions, and why the octopus despises the rat. Discover Napoleon Bonaparte’s contribution to a wealth of knowledge about previously unknown coral reef animals.

Weikert spent 13 years of his National Park Service career developing programs for visitors to Virgin Islands National Park. Currently he hosts the Kelp Forest Dive Show at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. As coral reefs face environmental change, Weikert’s aim is to build an appreciation for reef creatures that can serve as a foundation for their protection going forward.

The March 17 Friends Night Out will start with light refreshments (individually packaged snacks and drinks) at 6 p.m., with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. This Tuesday evening event at the library, at 157 Stevens Avenue, is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.