Ocean Schools Belong In Your School

aquarium.people.lanceaInformation about our oceans’ schools of fish and myriad other facts about our seas belong in school with your children! Learning about our planet’s many oceans, the critters who call it their home and teaching children about the positive impact their behavior can have on our oceans can be powerful! From fun field trips to powerful presentations to educational materials, this listing of environmental education resources has something for everyone!

> Copies of the book All the Way to the Ocean by Joel Harper are now available for free from LA Stormwater! Thanks to a generous donation by Joel Harper himself, LA Stormwater is offering copies of this book free of charge for a limited time. In addition to All the Way to the Ocean, LA Stormwater has a wide selection of educational classroom materials from activity books to DVDs to stickers to posters for LA-area schools, free of charge. Drop us an e-mail at lastormwater@lacity.org or give us a call at (800) 974-9794 (Option #3, please) to talk to us about what materials would work best for your child’s classroom or school.

> LA Sanitation’s new Environmental Learning Center is now open at the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Center. This seaside facility provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about our urban and natural water cycles as well as discover the connections between the products we buy and use and LA’s waste and recycling stream. Plan your visit today by calling (310) 648-5363 or e-mailing san.elc@lacity.org.

> Share the wonders of the sea! Do you want to teach your students about our marine environment? Cabrillo Marine Aquarium offers numerous programs and classes designed to share the wonders of our ocean – from guided aquarium tours to classroom ocean outreach programs to naturalist-led whale watching trips. Programs are LAUSD Board of Education approved and aligned with the State of California science standards.  And don’t forget the other aquariums here in the greater Los Angeles area. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium on the Manhattan Beach Pier, Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and the Kelp Forest at the California Science Center all offer amazing educational opportunities. 

> How will YOU defend the environment? Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ free Environmental Defenders assembly program’s goal is to educate and empower elementary-aged school children to protect our environment – where we live. In addition to a free assembly program, they provide classroom activities, a teacher resource packet and school environmental tip sheets. Get started on defending the environment!

> We’re motivating children to get involved! This has been the goal of The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education and its free school assembly program and beach clean-up Kids Ocean Day for the past two decades. This comprehensive environmental education program is designed to motivate children to care about the beaches, ocean and neighborhoods.

> Speaking of getting involved, California Coastal Cleanup Day is September 21! California Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way to do your part to keep California’s beaches clean. This year California Coastal Cleanup Day will focus on cleaning up tsunami debris from Japan that is just beginning to wash up on California’s shores. 

> No plastics, please! The Algalita Marine Research Institute located in Long Beach is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its watersheds through research, education and restoration and offers a wide variety of teaching tools for schools. They feature classroom presentations, DVDs, brochures and a free Debris Investigation Kit for LA County teachers.

> Let’s work together to heal Santa Monica Bay! Heal the Bay is a regional leader in the area of marine education and is committed to providing high quality education resources to educators, students and the general public. Their online guide outlines the field trips, classroom presentations and professional development opportunities available to LA teachers.

> Let’s also work together to heal our urban forest! TreePeople offers a full slate of environmental education programs for schools, youth groups and teachers. Their programs have a common goal: help young people grow into lifelong caretakers of the environment. They see their job as educators to not tell, but involve the children, teens and teachers who “dig in” at their Coldwater Canyon center.

> Why not spend some time on the river…the LA River, that is! Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR) offers the Los Angeles River Source to Sea School Program to 4th, 5th and 6th grade teachers and their students. It takes place annually in the spring and includes the Los Angeles River into school curriculum and culminates with a field trip to the LA River. 

Photos courtesy of lancea, JoshBerglund19 and mark6mauno.

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