I happened to see the cover of New Times (“The aquatic anachronism,” May 17), stating that the Morro Bay Aquarium is the saddest aquarium on Earth. Well, in my humble opinion, New Times is the saddest publication on Earth.
Dean and Bertha Tyler have, for decades, rescued, rehabilitated, and released hundreds of marine creatures, from common seabirds to rare and endangered marine mammals. I know, because I have rolled up my sleeves and helped them in years past. They have provided the only sanctuary for sick and injured marine wildlife between Monterey and San Diego, plus they have done it all by using their own personal funds, garnered from selling the T-shirts and bumper stickers you so ridicule them for.
Many of their animals could not be released due to a need for constant medication, having injuries or crippling diseases that would make them ready prey. Were they euthanized? No. Instead, they were provided a home where they could live out their natural existence, while providing a modicum of enjoyment to those who happen by the little aquarium to see them (as my son often did while growing up here).
After wading through all the tear-jerking emotional ranting and complaints from several “alphabet” organizations, you let it slip that the aquarium is operating within governmental regulations and—by golly—has a better mortality rate than the highly touted Marine Mammal Rescue Center. Oh, and some of their seals lived to be 24 and 32 years old—the oldest in captivity, by the way. How could that possibly happen in such a horrid place?
You finally admit that there have been no complaints to Lois Capps or Sam Blakeslee—not even to the Morro Bay city manager!
It’s so typical of your rag to be critical of anyone’s effort to make a difference in this world, without ever volunteering, donating funds, or otherwise helping them. All you ever do is criticize and tear down their efforts.
Now in their final years, it’s obvious that Dean and Bertha’s unsung heroics over the past six decades have made a positive difference in the well-being of our local marine life. What good has your fishwrap done over the course of its 24 years?
I can think of nothing.
Ed. note: Just to clarify, New Times was quoting others’ comments and reviews of the Morro Bay Aquarium when using the phrase “the saddest aquarium on Earth.” Also, since you asked, New Times regularly supports nonprofits, service organizations, and similar groups by donating ad space and other promotions. In the previous issue alone, we underwrote $4,000 for nonprofits.