LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez profiles Roger Hanson, fondly known as SoCal’s "Seahorse Whisperer."
Giselle finds out how the Midwest Iowa farm boy ended up moving to California and became the world’s foremost expert on the Pacific Seahorse. Hanson, who has dived all over the world, shares with Giselle how he shockingly discovered the species while diving in Long Beach’s Alamitos Bay.
The Pacific Seahorse had never been known to live north of San Diego. He explains he was alarmed that the sea creatures might drift and accidentally be harmed by beachgoers and that’s when he decided to build “homes” for them.
He takes LA Stories under the bay to meet the seahorses and see the biomes he made with sticks and small pine branches for the elusive seahorses to attach their tails to and settle in. Hanson has studied more than eight seahorses, who have made home there and named them all.
The four seahorses currently living in Alamitos Bay are paired up as mates and named Deep Blue, Daphne, Bathsheba, and CD Street. Several times a week, Hanson dives before sunrise to code and chronicle their latest behaviors and appearances for science. The retired special education teacher’s findings are studied and reported worldwide.
Hanson also opens up to Giselle about his personal relationship with the seahorses. He shares how he believes God put the seahorses on his path to not only protect the species, acting as their shepherd, but to use the seahorses to teach him to be a better man on land.
Inspired by what he has witnessed in the seahorse colony, Hanson has also written a book for children based on what he has learned from the seahorses about being kind, celebrating individuality, and embracing those that are different.
Watch LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez every Monday at 9 p.m. on Spectrum News 1.