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Ocean Institute
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The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental and ocean education and maritime history programs. More than 115,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute's 61 award-winning, immersion style programs. To learn about ocean facts, sea creatures, oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales on our Dana Point whale watch cruises, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them. On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners! We welcome you to come explore our world and plan your next visit to the Institute.

Earth Day

April 26th; 10am - 3pm
Celebrate Earth Day with the Ocean Institute!
Earth Day has been celebrated nationwide since the spring of 1970. Join us as we spread awareness and appreciation for our environment.
More info >

Field Trips at the Ocean Institute

It’s time to let us do the teaching! Whether it’s investigating the digestive system of a mackerel, hiking through a new ecosystem, setting sail on the high seas, traveling through California history or becoming marine biologist onboard a research vessel, the Ocean Institute has a program for YOU!

  • Hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programs Over 60 different programs
  • 1 hour to 3 days in length
  • Specialized programs for the following grades:

2014 Spring & Summer Camps

Dive into Summer Fun!

Join us for a summer to remember! Young scientists and buccaneers will love our fun, unique camps, as they are immersed in our educational and exciting programming. Our ACA accredited camps are taught by our amazing team of First Aid Certified instructors with a low student to instructor ratio, so your child is safe, engaged, and having a great time while they are learning from the best!

- Additional information >

- Download the brochure >

Whale Watching 

Join us for a 2.5 hour cruise on the R/V Sea Explorer as Captain Mike Bursk and our team of naturalists head out to sea in search of marine mammals. Whale sightings have been strong this year, with numerous sightings of gray whales during their annual migration. Witness these majestic creatures in our local waters!
Click here to learn more.



Featured Events & Updates

Public Visiting Hours
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 3:00 PM
Members are FREE

Click here for Fees and More Info

View Full Calendar of Events >

Spring Flyer >


April 2 - May 21
It's Your Estate Workshops
Wednesdays; 11:30am - 1pm
More Info >

April 26
Earth Day at the Ocean Institute
More Info >

Sunday, May 11
Mother's Day Cruises and Sails
More Info >

Sunday, June 8
World Oceans Day
More Info >

Sunday, June 15
Father's Day Cruises and Sails
More Info >

Monday, June 16
Marine Mammal Cruise for Homeschools
More Info >


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