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BEHIND THE SCENES / Orange County

Learning the A, B, Seas

April 16, 1998

More than 70% of the earth is covered by water. What can you do to protect it? A few things:

* Learn all you can about our oceans;

* Conserve water;

* Protect sea life;

* Take part in beach cleanups;

* Visit the Westminster Mall.

The mall?

Through April 30, the mall is hosting its fourth annual Project Earth. This year it's celebrating the International Year of the Ocean, as proclaimed by the United Nations.

"We're thrilled to be joined by the American Oceans Campaign and other groups to raise awareness of our oceans," says spokeswoman Stephanie Greene.

The mall is raising money for the nonprofit campaign by selling commemorative T-shirts ($5 with $50 mall purchase).

Although there's a charge for the shirt, the events, hands-on exhibits and educational displays are free.

One of the most dynamic displays is Dinamation's Dinosaurs of the Deep, in which animated dinosaurs roar and thrash about, just like they did when they ruled the oceans. "We have several huge dinosaurs; one is 40 feet long and 10 feet tall," says spokeswoman Stephanie Greene.

Also on exhibit are live wetlands creatures, such as a giant hissing cockroach, African pixie frogs, brown waterway rats, raccoons and alligators.

A free booklet, "Year of the Ocean"--which identifies 73 ocean animals--is available at the information booth.

For more information, call the mall at (714) 898-2550 or visit its Web site at www.westminstermall.com. The Year of the Ocean Information Line is (888) 4YO-TO98 (Web site: www.yoto98.noaa.gov). And the American Oceans Campaign is reachable through its site: www.americanoceans.org

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