When it comes to educating children about the importance of the ocean and marine science, the Ocean Institute is making waves.

The MISSION of the Ocean Institute is to use the ocean as a classroom and inspire children to learn.

Why is it important?

Located in Dana Point, CA, the Ocean Institute brings understanding and awareness of our precious oceans to our most precious resource, our children. This community-based organization educates up to 250,000 annual visitors through over 60 marine science and maritime history programs, ensuring younger generations will have a seeded knowledge of the environmental impact they will have on our oceans and marine life.

How do they do it?

Since 1977, the Ocean Institute has been “investing in tomorrow” with innovative learning opportunities that advance scientific and environmental awareness. Led by a prestigious staff from all over the world, themselves educated by prestigious universities and training programs, representing the diversity of offered programs encompassing all disciplines of modern science, technology, history and sailing. Instructors specialize in hands on, inquiry based, scientific and historical ocean exploration using not only the ocean as classroom but all the rich natural resources Southern California has to offer.

The Ocean Institute includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tall ships and an oceanographic research vessel. Children are also offered immersion based field trips ranging from one hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea with all programs designed to maximize immersion, spark creativity and curiosity and inspire a deep commitment to learning. All exhibits are open to the public seven days a week, so feel free to pop on by and explore an exhibit or enjoy a whale watching excursion.

How you can #TravelKindly:
  • Choose the Ocean Institute as your local charity when you book hotels with Kind Traveler.
  • Become a supporting member and help increase awareness of the ocean environment while receiving year long membership benefits.
  • The Institute is open seven days a week, so pop by and explore an exhibit on your stay, or enjoy activities designed for all ages such as a whale watching excursion.  
  • Join over 400 dedicated volunteers who donate their interest and time in ten different departments.
  • Attend any of the Institute’s year round events, such as the Ocean Institute Jazz Festival in March, which benefits the Adopt-a-Class program benefiting underserved children in the community.

Local Hotel: Monarch Beach Resort | The Ranch at Laguna Beach

  Dana Point, CA

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