CSULB sets up 'shark shacks' on SoCal shores this summer

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- California State Long Beach is setting up "shark shacks" on beaches from Santa Barbara to San Diego to teach the public about sharks this summer.

"Think of them like the Chamber of Commerce for marine life. So when people come to the beach it's important that they know who the locals are. And we're trying to introduce them to the locals," said Chris Lowe, Director of Shark Lab.

The "shark shacks" are a part of a push by Cal State Long Beach's shark lab to educate the public about the growing number of juvenile white sharks that call Southern California their home.

"What most people would think is that more sharks increases the risk, but we're not necessarily seeing that. We've been seeing more sharks in the last 10 to 15 years off our beaches, but we're not seeing rates of bites go up," Lowe said.

The increase in white sharks is because Southern California is the perfect home for the protected species, with lots of stingrays for the sharks to eat and safety from predators.

By teaching people about sharks, the Shark Lab hopes to increase safety in the water and calm any fears they have about sharks.

"I think there's a lot of fear for people, and I think it's really important to let people know that most sharks are not something to be afraid of, that this is their home and we're in their home. And we have to try to kind of think about that," said Vanessa Peralta, a resident of Long Beach.

There will be 60 "shark shacks" along the coast this summer with interactive displays expected to be fun and educational for the whole family.
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