New AES/SEA Lab property owners will keep Marine Innovation Hub at King Harbor. Can this serve as an example of why marine science education matters?
REDONDO BEACH—We’ve heard the clichés: the youth are our future; education is the key to success; and so on. The future of youth and education on the Redondo Beach waterfront, though, was recently in jeopardy of diminishing, if not disappearing, as a longstanding environmental nonprofit organization was struggling to stay put at King Harbor.
Turns out SEA Lab will be able to call Redondo Beach home – at least for the foreseeable future. Next Century Power LLC will house the Marine Innovation Hub at the AES/SEA Lab property, meaning Waterfront Education will be able to continue its presence at King Harbor as a destination for marine science educational opportunities and experiences.
Providing youth education on the waterfront is a must for every harbor, not only in Southern California but also statewide and nationwide. The value of providing marine education could help youth remain connected to the water well into adulthood – which, in turn, could be beneficial to the future of boating, fishing and other on-the-water activities. It’s great news, accordingly, for Waterfront Education to be able to remain in Redondo Beach for the foreseeable future. The staff and leadership of Waterfront Education expressed the value of keeping SEA Lab at King Harbor in a released statement to The Log.
“[Waterfront Education] can now expand its reach, providing more diverse students with marine science educational opportunities and hands-on ocean experiences. [Waterfront Education] will invest in infrastructure and expand its programs, which strives to build a bridge between classrooms and the ocean,” the nonprofit organization’s staff said in a released statement.
SEA Lab, as you might recall, was in jeopardy of losing its lease – and therefore faced the prospects of losing its home on the Redondo Beach waterfront. The program, according to The Log Staff Writer Devon Warren-Kachelein, educates students about “California’s rich coastal environment [and] currently provides homes for more than 1,000 fish and marine species.”
The program was on the ropes for much of this year, what with staff cuts and financial losses reported – on top of the lease issue already mentioned.
Keeping SEA Lab and Waterfront Education in Redondo Beach, according to the program’s leadership, would allow students to participate in various enrichment programs. Students would be exposed to educational experiences in STEAM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Each experience offers an education in marine environment and conservation, be it through observations of tidal pools or excursions aboard a sailing adventure.
Saving SEA Lab and Waterfront Education is a win not only because it will provide the youth of Redondo Beach an opportunity to learn about marine environment and conservation – the preservation of the program sets a precedent for other harbors to ensure similar youth education programs are added or remain in play at their respective venues.
AltaSea at the Los Angeles Harbor has a promising future, thanks to the city’s ambitious LA Waterfront project. The AltaSea center will feature hands-on education initiatives, classrooms, labs, a viewing center and a research hub. Also joining in on the waterfront educational endeavor is the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles Harbor; the organization will provide educational and professional job training at AltaSea. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, meanwhile, is expected to chip in with aquaculture education.
Also at the L.A. Harbor is Los Angeles Maritime Institute, where youth learn about the marine environment through hands-on experiences aboard one of two brigantines.
Orange Coast College’s School of Sailing and Seamanship offers youth sailing courses and camp. The youth camps combine sailing and boat building with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The school is located in Newport Beach.
Long Beach Marine Institute offers a youth summer camp, where participating students learn about marine science and conservation through kayaking, field trips and an excursion aboard a research vessel.
L.A. County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors offers two programs through its W.A.T.E.R. (Water Awareness, Training, Education and Recreation) initiative: Youth Sailing Camp and Ocean Safety Day. The one-day Ocean Safety Day program specifically teaches participants about C.P.R. and first-aid, rip currents, kayaking, surfing, boogie boarding and beach games. Information is also provided about L.A. County lifeguard career opportunities.
Dana Point’s Ocean Institute offers an annual summer camp for local and regional youth. The camp features learning labs, hands-on science education and opportunities tolerant about kelp forests and ocean habitats.
SEACAMP in San Diego offers kids and teens a marine science camp. Programs are offered year-round and include hands-on labs, workshops and interactive field activities (boat trips, boogie boarding, kayaking and snorkeling).
The former Helgren’s Landing site on Oceanside, meanwhile, has become ground zero for youth marine education in Northern San Diego County. A portion of Oceanside SEA Center is dedicated to marine science and education.