Volunteer of the Year

Press Release
Left to right:  Dori Moorehead, Ocean Institute President & CEO; Marty Sorkin, Volunteer of the Year; Amanda Smith, Volunteer & Weekend Manager

DANA POINT, CA – The Ocean Institute is pleased to announce that Marty Sorkin of San Clemente has been selected as its 2016 Volunteer of the Year.  He received the honor, explained Ocean Institute President Dori Moorehead, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedication to the Institute, the community and his fellow volunteers.  

“Marty has been an extraordinary volunteer,” commented Dori.  “His time has benefitted multiple departments and his positive energy and passion for the Ocean Institute has had ripple effects across the Institute and beyond.”

“I like the people at the Ocean Institute, and I like the work that we do,” said Marty.  “I hope, particularly in our work with young people, that we plant a seed so that one day more people will become good stewards of our oceans and our world.”

Marty began volunteering at the Institute at the suggestion of an employee.  He had retired from a successful business career and was looking to stay active.  He began volunteering at the Ocean Institute in 2002, and has since donated 4,000 hours of service.  He has been a leader in the Institute’s volunteer force, creating and implementing the 6.5-hour Marine Ecology training course that is required of all Institute volunteers in its education, public programs, husbandry, and tide pool interpretive docent departments.  Approximately 165 volunteers take the program annually.

Dori noted, “From building custom gold panning tables used by hundreds of students each year for our California State history programs, to completely revamping our technology systems campus-wide, Marty has made it his personal mission to help the Ocean Institute in any capacity.”

This is Marty’s second Volunteer of the Year award; he was also named the Ocean Institute’s Volunteer of the Year in 2003.

Marty serves as a volunteer naturalist at Crystal Cove State Park and at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as well. Additionally, he leads tide pool docent trainings for the Laguna Ocean Foundation and the City of Dana Point.  He is an active presenter and speaker for nature centers in the Southern California region and at OC Docent Day.

Additional volunteers are welcome at the Institute.  For information about volunteering, visit http://www.ocean-institute.org/volunteer-opportunities.


The Ocean Institute is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The facility includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tallships, and an oceanographic research vessel. Immersion-based field trips range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning. Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can explore the underwater world while participating in fun activities designed to indulge ocean curiosity. Throughout the year, the Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tallship sails, and other unique events including our annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales.

Address: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
Website: www.ocean-institute.org
Phone: (949) 496-2274

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