The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

March 9, 2016
Contact: Lauren Zerweck, lauren@gomixte.com619-315-1905
Coastkeeper Inspires the Next Generation of Water Stewards Through Local Habitat Exploration 
Orange County students learn innovative ways to protect water quality 
ORANGE COUNTY – March 9, 2016 — On March 16, Coastkeeper’s W.H.A.L.E.S education program will inspire students to interact with nature and understand its importance. WHALES will bring students from Costa Mesa High School to Heisler Park in Laguna Beach to spend the day learning about Marine Protected Areas and biodiversity in tide pools along Orange County’s coastline.
“These trips offer students a learning experience that they can’t get in the classroom and leaves a long lasting impact,” says Dyana Peña, Coastkeeper’s education director. “Our goal is to challenge students to think, write, and speak critically about local coastal protection issues and foster in them environmental stewardship and community involvement.”
Costa Mesa High School’s Marine Science students will begin their field trip at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Canyon. Students will have the unique opportunity to see current patients at the center and learn how the PMMC rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine animals. Students will build their knowledge of ocean stewardship through a beach cleanup and a tide pool scavenger hunt in one of Laguna’s Marine Protected Areas. From shore crabs to sea anemones, students will observe marine creatures in their natural environment to understand their importance in marine habitats.
A recent report on WHALES highlighted the successes of the program, showing that across all grade levels, WHALES students score an average of 85 percent on worksheets that assess their understanding of watershed science and human impacts on local waters and habitats.
WHALES, which stands for Watershed Heroes: Actions Linking Education to Stewardship, offers Orange County junior high and high school students field-based science curriculum at no additional charge to schools. Since 2012, 2,000 students per year participated in the field excursions and in-class lessons presented by WHALES.
WHALES serves schools throughout Orange County and has recently expanded into South Orange County. In addition to typical science classes, Coastkeeper modifies the program for English Language Development classes and students with developmental disabilities.
For more information on the WHALES Program, please contact education director, Dyana Peña at
Voice of OC posts press releases to provide readers with information directly from organizations. We do not edit or rewrite press releases, and encourage readers to contact the originator of a given release for more information. To submit a press release email

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *