Ocean Connectors is making a big impact on participating youth, enhancing their overall knowledge of marine conservation and scientific principles. Frequent program evaluations indicate that students adopt environmental behaviors as a result of participating in Ocean Connectors. Students make pledges to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, and 45% promise to pick up litter from their community as a way to benefit ocean health. Student knowledge of marine science and conservation increases by 30% each year. Long-term assessments show that, six years following their participation, 70% of students continue to take positive environmental actions as a result of Ocean Connectors (2014).
Sea Turtle Discovery
Endangered green sea turtles can be found in warm ocean waters around the world. A small population of Eastern Pacific green sea turtles migrates from their feeding grounds in the South San Diego Bay to Las Islas Revillagigedo in Mexico, connecting communities over 1,000 miles apart. Ocean Connectors students learn valuable methods for protecting this species and its habitat, including how our land-based actions affect aquatic ecosystems, and they visit local aquariums to see rehabilitated sea turtles in-person. Themes for this program include waste management and single-use plastic.
California Whale Exploration
California gray whales complete an amazing 6,000+ mile annual migration from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to their calving lagoons on the Baja California peninsula, one of the longest known migrations of any mammal! This route connects youth across North America – from Alaska, to California, to Mexico. Ocean Connectors allows schoolchildren to get a firsthand look at this amazing species of wildlife during whale watching field trips off the coast, and to use tracking technology to follow the whales on their long journey. Themes for this program include sustainable seafood and bycatch.
Bird and habitat study
The black brant is a marine goose that travels the Pacific Flyway, leaving the Arctic in the fall and flying nearly nonstop to spend the winter feeding on the coast of Southern California and Mexico. These birds depend on clean and healthy coastal habitats for rest and survival, such as estuaries, bays, and beaches. Ocean Connectors students across the Pacific Coast learn we must collaborate internationally to protect this shared species, and attend bird watching and habitat restoration field trips to help improve the quality of local natural areas. Themes for this proram include coastal development and habitat loss.
In 2015 we launched San Diego Bay eco tours that increase access to outdoor public resources and coastal recreation. Learn more about our Eco Tours.
Ocean Connectors was one of six local nonprofits selected by LEAD San Diego to undergo an assisted strategic planning process with a team of professionals from the community.
Ocean Connectors joined with National City and A Reason To Survive (ARTS) to create the educational watershed wall along A Avenue in downtown National City.
The Ocean Foundation, our fiscal sponsor organization, achieved the highest rating on Charity Navigator and is a Silver Level participant on GuideStar Exchange.