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Ocean Institute Opens to Public Seven Days a Week; Sea Star Stroll Fundraiser to Kick-Off the Grand Opening

May 1, 2015, DANA POINT, Calif. – On Saturday, May 16, 2015 the Ocean Institute will celebrate the grand opening of Headlands and Beyond: A Hands-On Exploration that will be open to the public seven days a week. These hands-on exhibits complete the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center project. Preceding the grand opening will be an 8 a.m. Sea Star Stroll fundraising walk (registration available at www.seastarstroll.com) which ends at the Ocean Institute. Open house festivities for Sea Star Stroll participants will run until 11 a.m.; general weekend admission to the facility opens at 10 a.m.; new weekend rates apply.

“It will be a great day for the Ocean Institute, as well as the community,” believes Dan Stetson, Ocean Institute president: “It’s long been our desire to be open to the public on a daily basis.”

Once open daily, guests can explore the Institute’s renewed courtyard and atrium showcasing the underwater world while participating in fun, family activities designed to indulge their ocean curiosity. On weekends, the Institute continues to offer a site-wide, immersive journey into the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean. Kindest thanks to the following groups for their generous support for the new exhibits: California State Parks, Draper Family Foundation, Bream – St. John, The Maddie James Foundation, Martin E. Sorkin Foundation, and the Sand Dollar Guild.

New public hours and admission fees (closed major holidays; check www.ocean-institute.org for updates):




Facilities Open


10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Members & children under 2 are free

The atrium, alcove, courtyard & Maddie James Seaside Learning Center only.


10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Members & children under 2 are free

The atrium, alcove, courtyard, Maddie James Seaside Learning Center & Ocean Education Center.
(Includes Pilgrim tour on most Sundays, 10:00am – 2:30pm)


About the Sea Star Stroll (www.seastarstroll.com):
The walk starts at the Strand Beach parking lot, just over a mile away from the Institute, and proceeds to the Institute.  Ocean artist Wyland is serving as celebrity chair.  Funds raised will benefit the Ocean Institute.  Dan Stetson extends the Ocean Institute’s thanks to all who are serving as sponsors for the Sea Star Stroll, including:
Title sponsor: Irvine BMW
Gold sponsors: The Chambers family, Gibson Dunn, the Steinmetz Foundation, Tappan Enterprises, Team Rudi, Greg & Sharon Wohl, Masson & Shaffer, The Strand at Headlands
Silver sponsor: Winspire
Official shuttle sponsor: Certified Transportation

The Ocean Institute is a non-profit organization which seeks to demystify the world of science, empower children to become tomorrow’s scientific leaders, and deepen society’s appreciation of how the ocean and science impact our lives.  Established in 1977, the Ocean Institute uses the mystery and allure of the ocean to inspire 115,000 students per year with more than 60 award-winning ocean science and maritime history programs.  We’re located in Dana Point Harbor alongside the tide pools of a MarineProtected Area, and we use the ocean as the classroom to inspire students of all ages to learn.  Unique maritime and ocean-themed items are available in the Chambers Gallery every day, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Institute address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point.  Website: www.ocean-institute.org.  Phone: (949) 496-2274.

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