Dana Point Harbor features tall ships, a marine institute, whale
watching and tide pools. – Photo by Greg Aragon / Beacon Media
For Richard Henry Dana, it was the culmination of an epic and
grueling two-year voyage from Boston to California. For me it was
a day trip in a rental car. Either way you slice it, Dana Point
Harbor makes a great getaway.
DANA POINT (January 5, 2019)– Registration is now open for the
Girls in Ocean Science Conferences presented by Ocean Institute
in Dana Point. This one-day event will take place on separate
occasions for middle and high school students. Middle school
students will attend the conference on Saturday, February 16th
and high school students will attend the conference on Saturday,
March 16th. Each session will include hands-on workshops and a
chance to conduct research in labs and at sea aboard the Ocean
Institute’s research vessel, the Sea Explorer.
Orange County is loaded with influencers, from people who are
determined to end homelessness to billionaire philanthropists and
perhaps the best two-way baseball player since Babe Ruth. The
Orange County Register again has selected the 100 Most
Influential People in Orange County, and some of the choices
will be exactly who you’d expect. Others, however, will surprise
and maybe even delight.
Since 1977, Ocean Institute has been educating the
community in in- depth marine science, maritime history, and
outdoor education programs. As a non-profit, they strive to
maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep
commitment to learning. President & CEO Dan
Pingaro joined us to tell us more.
Thanks to funding from the Sahm Family Foundation, the Ocean
Institute will be rolling out a shark education program for
visiting students. According to a press release, the institute
will renovate an existing waterfront building to feature a Horn
shark touch tank, a shark nursery, and interactive exhibits and
artifacts pertaining to sharks. The Sahm Marine Education Center
aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math
principles through educational experiences for students,
teachers, parents and the general public.
DANA POINT — Horn sharks may not be as well known as great
whites, but a living horn shark exhibit planned for the Ocean
Institute will help provide greater understanding of both species
— and of all sharks in general.
Wendy Marshall, who leads the Dana Point institute’s education
programs, sees the exhibit — funded entirely through a $1 million
donation from the Rancho Santa Fe-based Sahm Family Foundation —
as an opportunity to flip the conversation about sharks from fear
After receiving a California Cultural and Historical Endowment
grant, the Ocean Institute recently launched a campaign to raise
funds to match that grant in order for the Spirit of Dana
Point to receive a new engine. Generally, grants such as
these are offered to capital investment projects.
Capt. Mike Bursk of the Ocean Institute’s R/V Sea Explorer will
speak about gray whales during a speaker series hosted by the
American Cetacean Society- Orange County on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Bursk has been the captain of the R/V Sea Explorer for more than
Thousands of gray whales are on their annual migration right now.
Local whale-watch charters begin tracking gray whales Nov. 1.
As we welcome winter along the Southern California coast, we also
welcome extraordinarily low tides. Anyone who has spent time
along our beaches is certain to notice that the water level of
the ocean does not stay the same all day long. The percussion of
waves lapping upon the shore is consistent, though water levels
change as the day passes. Water rises for several hours and then
recedes. This rise and fall of the ocean is known as the tide. A
tidal tempo is at the heart of the concert of the sea.
Two of the West Coast’s most prolific tall ships, the Hawaiian
Chieftain and the Lady Washington, will be hosted at the Ocean
Institute for a month-long series of educational tours and cannon
The Hawaiian Chieftain will arrive in Dana Point on Tuesday, Dec.
26. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport acquired the Hawaiian
Chieftain from these private owners and sailed her through the
Panama Canal to return it to the Pacific.
The Orange County Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (OC
GRIP), Ocean Institute and their partners, rewarded 45 local
at-risk elementary school students with a visit to the Ocean
Institute in Dana Point as an incentive for positive behavior,
perfect attendance and staying out of gangs. To earn this reward,
the students met a challenge to have no unexcused absences,
criminal activity or arrests, violence or weapons on campus, and
gang-related clothing, writing or behavior.
Standing on the stern of the 71-foot-long R/V Sea Explorer,
Captain Mike Bursk launches into what he calls his “whale talk”
for whale watching patrons aboard before setting off to sea from
the Ocean Institute’s dock.
Bursk explained that the grey whales commonly seen along the
coast of Dana Point remain relatively close to shore as they
travel between their northern feeding grounds in the Artic to
their mating grounds in the southern Baja peninsula.
Jack Anderson, an employee of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point
and a college senior at the University of California-Irvine, has
begun a multi-faceted fundraiser called the Ocean Awareness Run
to take place on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Washington D.C.
As the summer progressed, an abundance of crimson tails and
shells populated the shoreline. Exactly like a teenager’s
room full of clothes cast aside that were not fit for the first
day of school. That right folks, it’s fall here in Southern
California. New school year. New school clothes. Even our local,
California spiny lobsters (Panulirus interruptus) get ready for
picture day in the fall. While we have been enjoying the
surf and working on our tans these past few months, our native
inhabitants just beneath the waves have been working on their
shiny new shells too.
On Monday August 21st, 2017, the United States experienced its
first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918. This
90-minute event crossed 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina
and captured the attention of the entire country. People
travelled to the path of totality in unprecedented numbers and
across the nation people joined together to view this spectacular
event. The unprecedented level of interest and enthusiasm for the
eclipse was fueled by heavy media coverage in the days and weeks
leading up to it and for a moment the nation was focused on
It’s important to inspire the young generation to become marine
scientists; perhaps using an oceanographic ROV will do just that.
The future of the environment is in their hands. The Ocean
Institute in Dana Point, CA knows this and is taking the
initiative to encourage students to ask questions and be involved
in the many fields of marine studies.
Take a moment and learn how one organization is currently
developing stewards of our oceans.