Dana Point Harbor Partners’ Underserved Youth Program Aims to Provide Ocean Experiences and Education to More Than 1,000 Underserved Youths
DANA POINT— The long-awaited $400 million, multiyear revitalization of Dana Point Harbor commenced at The Marina at Dana Point in August 2022. In collaboration with the California Coastal Commission, DPHP will improve public water access through the intricate design of The Marina and the newly developed community outreach programs.
Bellwether Financial Group, a partner in DPHP and the firm responsible for The Marina operations and redevelopment, is spearheading a robust outreach program to expose underserved youth from both local and inland communities to aquatic activities, including swim lessons, ocean education, whale watching, surfing, kayaking, and sailing each year.
Since the program commenced in August 2022, the Underserved Youth Program has provided hundreds of underserved youths in the community the opportunity to experience ocean education and activities, often for the first time. In 2023, the program aims to provide unforgettable ocean experiences and education to more than 1,000 underserved youths. To implement the program, DPHP has partnered with Orange County non-profits, including the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, The Boys & Girls Club of San Juan Capistrano, and San Juan Elementary School.
“It has been several years since we started collaborating with the Surfrider Foundation on developing our youth program, said Joe Ueberroth, founder and president of Bellwether Financial Group, owner of Bellingham Marine, and a partner of Dana Point Harbor Partners. “Now, as we enter into our first full year, it is incredible that we have more than twenty organizations participating in our efforts. My partners and I look forward to continuing this program in 2023 and beyond for seeing the smile and reaction of a child that has just learned to swim or stepped on their first boat, or rode their first wave never loses its magic for all of us involved.”
The program includes robust tracking of the participants to measure the program’s impact. The Marina recently welcomed a dedicated community outreach coordinator to measure and track the program’s influence to report the success to the California Coastal Commission.