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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.

California Coastal Cleanup Day
Saturday, September 20; 9am – 12pm

Participate in California’s annual Coastal Cleanup Day receive free admission for the day. We will clean the Dana Point Marine Conservation Area (tidepools), the west jetty and the west end of the harbor.

Meet behind the Ocean Institute. Help us cut down our waste by bringing your own bucket, gloves and reusable water bottle. Please wear closed-toed shoes, sunscreen and a hat.


Blue Whale Discovery Cruise

As seen in the June issue of Westways magazine!

Come along in the search to find these magnificent creatures in our local waters. Our scientific staff will guide your adventure and offer plenty of information while you enjoy your time on the R/V Sea Explorer - witnessing the largest animal ever to inhabit planet Earth!

Click here to learn more.


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 a marine biologist onboard a research vessel, the Ocean Institute has a program for YOU!

Click here for more info.

Teacher Days

Saturdays, 10am – 12pm

Educators are invited to meet members of our Education team, learn about our diverse educational experiences, and tour our facility including the new Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. To attend, please RSVP by calling Jonathan Witt at (949) 496-2274 x330.

Bring your family for free admission into the facility to enjoy fun, hands-on activities!

Oct. 11: Kindergarten - 5th Grade Programs
Oct. 18: 6th - 12th Grade Programs


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 >

Summer Flyer >


Wednesdays, Sept. - Oct.
It's Your Money - Free financial workshops
More Info >

Thursday, September 18
Laguna Beach Gold Coast Raffle – Bonus Drawing Deadline
More Info >

Saturday, September 20
California Coastal Cleanup Day
More Info >

Sunday, September 28
Island FantaSea Luau
Fundraiser presented by The Sand Dollar Guild
More Info >

Saturday, October 11
Teacher Days – Grades K though 5
More Info >

Saturday, October 18
Teacher Days – Grades 6 through 12
More Info >


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