We are navigating unprecedented times as a result of the
coronavirus. Ocean Institute has been hit hard as school
restrictions have caused a complete wipeout of our
programs during our highest revenue generating season- which is
the fuel that propels us through the rest of the year.
Additionally, we had to postpone the Ocean Institute Fest until
September- our biggest annual fundraiser that was to occur later
It has been a complete cascade for us – as it has for so many
others. On 3.16.20 we announced to our team that the Ocean
Institute must shut down in compliance with the restrictions
related to social gatherings.
We are stripping down and prioritizing keeping the animals alive,
fundraising, and maintaining the minimum infrastructure to
stretch our resources out as far as possible.
As I write this, I am still shocked at what has transpired here
in the last 8 days. We remain hopeful that things will swing up
in the right direction- but can’t let hope get in the way of
doing everything I can to make sure we sustain through this.
I am humbly asking for your considering of emergency support
for OI operations - in any amount. To give online, please
We know the storm will pass but are very concerned about
Brings underserved Title I students to the ocean for the first
time. The grant would provide ten, day programs or five,
two-day programs using the learning labs, Surf Deck, and the
research vessel. Adopt-A-Class funding covers the cost of
bringing students to the Ocean Institute and provides essential
general support for the teaching staff. This grant would be
recognized with a prominently placed plaque on the donor wall in
the Ocean Institute’s main lobby.
This provides general operating support to be recognized with a
named “star” in the Sea of Stars pathway in the main
courtyard. This opportunity is available for 5-year pledges
of $50,000 ($10,000 per year); however, one-time gifts or
two-year pledges would have more immediate impact.
Each year the Ocean Institute fully supports and mentors
approximately 20 high school interns who spend 8 months working
on self-selected research projects at the Ocean Institute. Under
the supervision of our talented, early-career staff, the students
learn to design their own research study, how to fundraise for
research, and how to communicate results. The program culminates
in a symposium where the interns present their work and a poster
display showcase. Upon completion of the internship, students
will have gained invaluable skills and experience that showcases
their passion and enhances their transcripts as they apply to
college. Sponsors are recognized in annual symposium
program. A five-year commitment would be recognized with the
title naming opportunity.
The At-Sea Acquisition and Acclimation lab is the first stop for
any organism joining our living collection. Here, incoming
organisms are monitored and carefully treated by our husbandry
team for any potential medical conditions or health concerns to
ensure a safe transition into our display tanks. The lab is
equipped with a stand-alone life support system inclusive of
chiller units, filters, and pumps.
The Spirit of Dana Point is in need of new sails and
this provides a unique naming opportunity as the sponsor’s name
and logo will be displayed on one sail of this popular schooner
and recognized with a plaque on the mast or the boom.
This gift will fund general operations. (It can be given over two
years if needed). This large teaching space in the Packard At-Sea
Center provides visiting schools with the science lab that they
never had! Equipped with high-powered microscopes, cameras,
dissection equipment, artifacts, and all the resources needed to
dive into science, this Learning Lab supports in-depth, hands-on
learning experiences for 50,000 visitors each year.
This gift will fund general operations. The Living Collections
Lab gives students a unique opportunity to get “up close and
personal” with a sampling of our coast’s local biodiversity.
Serving as the scientists, students can observe and compare
adaptations and defense strategies employed by organisms that
live within the kelp forest, benthic zone, rocky reefs, and
pelagic ocean habitats.
This gift will fund general operations and be recognized with a
surf-themed plaque on the Surf Deck. The gift can occur over two
years if needed. This multi-use space is the most impressive
location on the campus with its unobstructed view of the Pacific.
In addition to serving as the home to 8,000 students annually
during day and overnight programs, the Surf Deck hosts events
including distinguished speakers, educational conferences,
collaborative partner thinktanks, VIP and corporate receptions,
and community gatherings. It is the jewel of the organization.
This gift will fund general operations (can occur over two years
if needed). The Surf Science Learning Center engages students in
investigations related to the science on surf, sand study,
underwater robotics, and watershed science. The sponsor’s name
will be prominently placed on the building outside of this
indoor/outdoor lab area.
This gift will fund the urgently needed new deck on the
Spirit of Dana Point. The Spirit of Dana
Point is a truly unique teaching platform where
students experience authentic life at sea as it has been for
hundreds of years. The 118-ft. schooner is used
throughout the year for living history and at-sea maritime
programs that build 21st Century skills of teamwork, critical
thinking, communication, and leadership. The sponsor will be
recognized with a plaque on the “King Plank” and signage on the
Maritime Wharf seen by thousands along the harbor’s public