The Best Marine Biology Camps For High School Students

Board the Enhydra in Long Beach and enjoy a two hour journey across the channel to the majestic channel island of Santa Catalina. Your class has the opportunity to witness a variety of marine mammals, sea birds and other ocean creatures within minutes of leaving the harbor!

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers educational marine biology experiences to schools and private groups around California. Marine biology is often a popular topic among youth who are fascinated by the incredible diversity found in the Ocean.

A Life Changing Sea Camp on Catalina Island

Bringing your class on a field trip to one of MSA’s sea camp locations is a life-changing experience for all whom attend. Teachers have multiple options to chose from including day programs around Los Angeles, to overnight programs either onboard the 112′ marine research vessel “Enhydra”, or an overnight class trip to Catalina Island!

Experience snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking – all while applying the scientific method to turn each activity into an exciting and highly educational research project. Your students learn to think like a scientist and have first-hand encounters with the natural world that will enrich their academic career and stay with them for a lifetime!

STEM Science Activities

MSA’s program is strong in STEM science activities. Students use our professional research equipment to undertake actual hands-on research assignments, including trawling for plankton and observing individual specimen under high powered microscopes, water analysis activities, and observing both terrestrial and marine wildlife in their natural environment.

These are the experiences that transform students into scientists and ignite a personal passion for learning, studying and exploring the fascinating world of natural sciences for a life time.

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Gearing Up For Catalina Summer Shipboard Camp 2016

We are excited to announce that we have a new ship this year, and it is even larger and more cozy than before. We can’t wait to welcome you aboard the USS Enhydra for another amazing summer of fun in the sun as we explore all the best that Catalina Island has to offer!

13336114_1042193599191000_7717455588195267460_nThe USS Enhydra is roomier, comfortable and more luxurious, allowing you to feel like you are on a mini cruise as you enjoy your summer holiday! This will be our first summer session with the new ship, and all the staff are greatly looking forward to reuniting with you for the best summer yet!

This summer we will be living aboard the USS Enhydra as we cruise around Catalina Island, exploring all the most desirable coves, beaches and dive spots! Enjoying such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding and playing in the water.

Come join us for such rare and highly desirable activities as surfing on the backside of the island, cliff jumping, camping on remote island coves, visiting the quaint island village of Two Harbors, and walking down the boardwalk at Avalon.

During out two week teen camp we trek to the highest point on the island and stay at the campground where you can enjoy a breathtaking panaromic view of the whole island, the Channel Islands nearby and the coast of southern California. We also camp out at Little Harbor, which is a small paradise island oasis.

10649_490361964374169_1761074941_nA short walking distance from Little Harbor is one of the most popular surf spots on the island, called Shark Cove, where campers can try out surfing, boogie boarding and body surfing. Or perhaps you would rather play on the beach or explore one of the near by trails. There is always so much to do at Catalina Island summer camp!

Learn more about this program here!

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Summer Science Camps For Kids In California

Mountian and Sea Adventures has been running the most exciting and educational summer science camps for kids in California. MSA’s program is unique in that it focuses on imparting a love for natural science through hands-on experience oriented field research activities. Each child gets to experience the excitement of conducting real field research, and learning how to think and observe the natural world through the eyes of a scientist.

Newport Beach Summer Day Camp

MSA has partnered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife offering a one-of-a-kind program at Newport Beach’s Back Bay Science Center, where campers get to utilize state of the art facilities and equipment to explore the back bay estuaries. This program is focused on both imparting a personal appreciation for the rich resource of the back bay, as well as display how much fun it is to learn environmental science!

Cabrillo Beach Day Camp

Located at the Cabrillo Youth Center, this day camp is centrally located near by some of San Pedro’s finest natural marine resources, such as the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park, a bird estuary, tide pools and the various facilities and equipment at the Cabrillo Youth Center. Students learn a new topic each week as they expand their appreciation for the marine environment.

Catalina Island Shipboard Camp

MSA’s most unique program of all is a week long journey aboard our new ship the U.S.S. Enhydra, which is fully stocked and loaded for both playing in and on the water and conducting ongoing marine science research. Campers get the opportunity to crusie around the island, visiting several various beaches and coves, and enjoying such activities as snorkeling, kayaking, exploring sea caves, hidden coves, beach games, hiking, fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, surfing, cliff jumping, camping and lots more!

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An Action Plan For Bringing Sea Otters Back To Southern California

Sea otters are not only cute and incredibly adorable, being the smallest member of the marine mammal family, but they are also incredibly important for maintaining the health of many of California’s marine ecosystems.  Since the sea otter has been absent from the California coast, we have seen an 80% decline in kelp forests, the main source of bio diversity for most of the coastal species of fish, invertebrates, seals, sea lions and other marine life.

Sea otters are recovering much more slow in California than other areas they have been re introduced, this is due to high fatality rates arising from living in highly toxic and contaminated waters. In order for California’s sea otters, as well as the kelp forests, to make a comeback water qualities must continue to improve.

Here are some ways you can help live more marine environmentally conscious and friendly:

  • Switch to using only organic, nontoxic and environmentally safe detergents, solvents and other house hold liquids. Its not only better for the planet, but better for your health as well.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle when ever possible.
  • Keep a compost pile.
  • Reduce the amount of plastic you purchase.
  • Properly dispose of any hazardous waste, such as motor oil, etc.
  • Use organic fertilizers, or none at all if you can.
  • Plant a garden, the roots absorb water and reduce run off.
  • Never dump anything into storm drains.
  • Conserve water as much as possible.
  • Pick up after your pets and never flush pet waste.
  • Keep your car well serviced to prevent oil leaks.
  • Donate to the California Sea Otter Fund.
  • Stay informed about ocean issues, and share your knowledge with others!

Although nobody can do everything, we can each do our part. Every little effort helps, and together we can create a world in which we can all live in peacefully and happily.

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The Top Most Exciting Things To Do At Catalina!

Day Trip to Catalina

Southern California residents need not look any further for the perfect destination for a weekend, or even one day trip to Catalina Island. The high speed ferries from Long Beach, Newport Beach and Dana Point can get you across the channel in as little as sixty minutes!

205989_155784471165255_147005_nOnce you arrive at the quaint and picturesque island town of Avalon you can choose from a variety of activities, attractions, access to beautiful beaches and dive locations, as well as a beautiful downtown boardwalk with shops, cafes and restaurants to unwind after an afternoon exploring the natural beauty of Catalina.

A day trip to Catalina is very feasible, just drop your car at the secured parking structure beside the ferry terminal, and enjoy a day of care free fun snorkeling, kayaking, or just lounging on one of the most famous beaches in southern California.

Things to do in Avalon

As small as this island town of under four thousand residents is, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Avalon. With protected marine estuaries to snorkel and dive in, boat rentals to explore near by coves, beautiful beaches for sun bathing and swimming in the ocean, and plenty of night attractions as well, such as the single cinema movie theatre at the casino, and several well known pubs, clubs and world class restaurants with spectacular island coastal views.

catalina-island-golfRent a golf cart for the day and go see even more of the local attractions such as the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Gardens, the Wrigley mansion (now called the Inn at Mt Ada), or visit the little bit more secluded Descanso Beach and club.

There are a wide range of hotels in Avalon to accommodate everything from the weekend warrior coming to release some steam and enjoy the resort-like night life of Avalon, the serious nature enthusiast, or the love-struck couple looking for a romantic island escape.

Affordable Marine Science Camps on Catalina for Schools

Catalina island offers the most memorable and inspiring outdoor education experiences for schools and private academic groups. The island is one of the largest privately owned and operated nature conservation in the world, and is home to many species not found anywhere else in the world, such as the island fox.

10464029_675917522485278_8122116456323979192_nBringing your school group to Catalina Island gives them the chance to be completely immersed in the world of natural science, where they can discover a personal love for the environment through hands on involvement.

People whom have attended camp at Catalina Island frequently mention it as one of, if not the most memorable and life-changing academic event of their youth.

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers school groups the opportunity to come to Catalina Island for five day, four day, three day or even two day programs for schools on a very strict budget. MSA is committed to keeping prices affordable while providing the highest quality marine science camps on Catalina Island.

Family Camps and Group Retreats to Catalina

Bringing your family to Catalina for a short two or three day adventurous program is an awesome way to enjoy quality time together, while enjoying one of the most beautiful and valuable resources in California and making memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Check out our family camp program information for in depth details on all that our family camp and group retreats to Catalina have to offer!

Campgrounds on Catalina Island

10599185_689038871173143_948746590106928615_nCatalina island is an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. You can access a wide variety of campgrounds. Stay at Hermit Gulch, just outside of Avalon and accessible to all the conveniences that the city has to offer. Or explore the rustic and extremely remote west end, like Parsons Landing, where facilities are at their most basic!

Two Harbors is a nice compromise between too rustic and too urban. Located at the isthmus, the island paradise village of Two Harbors has a population of less than three hundred people, with one restaurant/bar, a general store, fishing and dive shop and a visitors center. The campground is just outside the village, a short walking distance, and has it’s own beach called little fisherman’s cove at the foot of the campground.

Summer Camp

Summer camp on Catalina Island is the highlight of all those whom attend. The magic of Catalina comes alive the most during this season, when kids and teens form bands and explore the natural beauty of all the various coves, beaches, trails and valleys that the island has to offer.

10347611_681061158637581_3025169076392976632_nWith so much life around them, both on land and under the surface of the ocean, their sense of adventure comes to life and gives them the chance to develop them selves through the activities.

Every summer MSA hosts four to six weeks of summer camp on Catalina Island aboard the 112 foot marine research vessel, The Wilderness Explorer. Exploring the best snorkeling locations around the island, surf spots and remote coves to play and learn in.

Mountain Biking and Backpacking Catalina

Mountain biking on Catalina Island is possible, you can either bring your own bike or rent one in either Two Harbors or Avalon. Anyone can ride within city limits of Avalon and two Harbors, but if you want to get out into the interior of the island on the many beautiful trails you will need a permit, which is available to members of the Catalina Island Conservancy.

Image courtesy of catalinaconservancy.org

Image courtesy of catalinaconservancy.org

Backpackers will require a permit, as well, which is easily available at the visitors center at Two Harbors, the Island Plaza in Avalon, or at Hermit Gulch Campground. You should be aware there are not electrical hook ups at any of the campsites and the Catalina Island Conservancy enforces strict fire precautions.

Catalina Island has more to offer to such a wide demographic of people than possible anywhere else in California. You are sure to find what you were looking for the moment you arrive, and can enjoy the comfort of being on a remote island paradise, yet without really having to leave town!

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