There’s a brand-new art installation outside of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, located next to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Santa Cruz Wharf. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a federally protected marine area that stretches over 276 miles from Marin to Cambria in San Luis Obispo County, and is the country’s second largest marine sanctuary. The Exploration Center offers interactive exhibits and displays, as well as a film shown in their state-of-the-art HD theater. The new sculpture, a collaboration between the Exploration Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and local artist Robert Seals, features a dynamic formation of five metal humpback whales. Dusting the sheet steel material of the whales in a blue powder coating, Seals designed the finish to reflect the sun in such a way that the whales appear to be covered in water droplets. Seals’ background includes creating all-in-one tools for snowboards and mountain bikes, and he achieved success with his revolutionary portable stainless steel container, the Kleen Kanteen. Local tip: Seals can sometimes be spotted playing in local surf band The Wave Tones or driving his mobile art museum around town. The MBNMS Exploration Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and admission is free!