LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Roger Hanson has been diving for over 30 years, so he knew it was odd when he spotted a Pacific seahorse in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach around four years ago.
“They are very, very rare,” said retired schoolteacher from Iowa. “Long Beach having a colony is unlike any city in California.”
In 2016, Hanson started driving 80 miles from his home in Moreno Valley to Long Beach around five days a week in order to care for, and study, the underwater creatures.
“There are 11 biomes that are manmade and biodegradable in the bay,” said the 69-year-old. “It’s kind of like a jungle; they like the canopy effect.”
Over the years, Hanson has used thousands of sticks, eel grass, and palm fronds to replenish the colony’s home in an undisclosed location in the bay. He keeps binders of meticulous notes, detailing the behaviors of each seahorse that Hanson has named, such as Daphne, Bathsheba, and CD Street.
“There aren’t a lot of studies that are long-term with animals that are smaller because it’s harder to tag them,” said fellow diver and friend, Ashely Arnold. “As a volunteer study, we’ve learned so many […]