Ocean Connectors prides itself on our mission to educate, inspire, and connect underserved youth with the Pacific Ocean through various classroom presentations and coastal field trips. We care about creating a lasting impact on both the environment and reaching as many students as possible, so each year we closely track the number of participants and the contributions they are making to the environment. As we gear up for the 2018-2019 school year, we look back on and reflect on the success we had over the past year.
During the 2017-2018 school year, Ocean Connectors conducted a total of 75 coastal field trips for 2,132 elementary students (71 trips), 646 middle school students (4 trips), and 235 parents. It was a very exciting year for our team, as we not only reached the entire elementary school district in National City, but it was also the first time we were able to offer field trips for 7th grade students, and our very first year running a 3rd grade habitat restoration project at Paradise Creek with students from Kimball Elementary, in partnership with Paradise Creek Educational Park, Inc.
625 students and 33 parents took part in our 4th grade Sea Turtle Discovery program during 21 field trips to Living Coast Discovery Center. Students were able to experience sea turtles up close, touch shark eggs and rays, explore different native bird species, and learn about various animals in the amazing habitats of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge at Sweetwater Marsh.
Our 5th grade Whale Exploration program reached 709 students and 83 parents. A total of 25 whale watching trips were conducted with our amazing partners at Flagship Cruises and Events during December through April. Gray whales, dolphins, and sea lions were the main sights to be seen, but every trip had its own unique experience.
The Ocean Connectors 6th grade Bird & Habitat Study included 798 students and 32 parents over 25 trips to the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. These students planted 936 native plants, removed 26 pounds of litter, pulled 2.25 cubic meters of weeds, and applied 7,224 pounds of mulch with help from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service park rangers.
Our new 7th grade Shark Investigation Unit allowed us to bring National City students on a field trip to SeaWorld for the very first time, where they observed and touched sharks up close. We successfully took 646 students and 89 parents to the park, where the students received a special educational talk and interacted with SeaWorld experts.
The new school year just began on Monday, July 23rd! We are excited to meet all our new Ocean Connectors students this year and we look forward to continue working with the hundreds of children who have already been involved with our programs. Don’t forget that you can keep up to date on all the Ocean Connectors activities on our social media pages and by following along with the photos page on our website!