Crystal Cove Conservancy
Marine Protected Area Citizen Science Cruises



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(949) 675-0551

The most affordable on-the-water STEM program!


Program Overview

A Unique Partnership

The Marine Protected Area Citizen Science Cruise is run through a unique partnership between Newport Landing Sportfishing and Crystal Cove Conservancy, the nonprofit partner of Crystal Cove State Park. Our sportfishing company works together with this conservation organization, local scientists, State Park resource managers, and participating students and teachers to monitor Crystal Cove's Marine Conservation Area.

This high quality on-the-water STEM education program gives students an opportunity to be a part of authentic scientific research and monitoring in Crystal Cove State Park. During the program, students set sail aboard a "research vessel" (aka fishing boat) and work as scientists for the day in the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area. Working together, we believe that we can best monitor and protect our marine resources, a profitable asset to all involved.

A New Teacher Learning Community

Teachers who participate in the MPA Citizen Science Cruises are given the opportunity to apply to join Crystal Cove Conservancy's Teacher Learning Community, a professional community of teachers willing to share tested lesson plans, fundraising ideas, and other resources with each other. Spaces in this community are limited each year.

Teacher Learning Community members receive a $250 scholarship towards their cruise and gain access to other pre- and post-trip activities that have been developed and tested by other teachers. They also may apply for other financial aid opportunities. In return, teachers commit to attending a professional development day, taking a lead facilitation role during their cruises, and contributing a pre or post trip lesson plan to the online collection.

For more information on the Teacher Learning Community and available scholarships, visit Crystal Cove Conservancy's webpage. If you are unable to commit to the Teacher Learning Community, you are welcome to schedule a field trip that is fully facilitated by Newport Landing staff for a $750 rate.

Cruise Overview

The three hour MPA Citizen Science Cruise offers students in grades 7-12 the opportunity to explore the protected waters off the coast of Crystal Cove State Park. Students are assigned to one of three monitoring projects, where they will capture and take an up close look at plankton, drop a digital fishing camera down into the kelp forest to explore life below the ocean surface, and even collect water quality samples. The data that they collect will be shared with local scientists and resource managers who are studying and making decisions on how best to protect the underwater park.

Plankton Investigation

As scientists on board a research vessel, student teams use plankton nets to collect three plankton samples and examine them under a microscope, looking for the presence or absence of nine key plankton species, which are added to an online database. Students may also participate in a vertical plankton tow for the California Department of Health.

Digital Fishing Investigation

During the digital fishing investigation, student monitoring teams use a fishing rod to lower a camera into the water, exploring the canopy, mid-stipe and holdfast zones and recording video of the fish life under the surface. Students examine their video recordings to identify the fish and other items of interest that they see. Their findings are shared with researchers at UC Irvine's Center Environmental Biology and State Park resource managers, who are interested in learning about how fish populations are responding in Crystal Cove's Marine Conservation Area.

Water Quality Investigation

Student monitoring teams use a water sampling bottle to collect water samples from various depths, measuring water temperature, salinity and pH. This information is utilized by researchers at UC Irvine and State Park resource managers to determine the overall health of the kelp forest and marine ecosystems.

For more information, contact Jessica Roame, MPA Cruise Facilitator at (949) 675-0551 x 118 or jessica@newportwhales.com.


Crystal Cove Conservancy

Newport Landing Whale Watching proudly supports Crystal Cove Conservancy, the non-profit partner of Crystal Cove State Park, which is dedicated to education, conservation, and restoration efforts within the State Park and its Marine Conservation Area.

A portion of each ticket for Newport Landing Whale Watching goes to support the Crystal Cove Conservancy and its many educational and environmental efforts surrounding one of the last pristine coastlines remaining in Southern California.

Crystal Cove Conservancy's educational efforts include unique, innovative school programs focused on STEM and environmental literacy. Programs take place in an onsite Park and Marine Research Facility based out of a historic cottage, in the Berns Environmental Study Loop, and on the water with Newport Landing. For more information on the many different programs and activities offered, visit Crystal Cove Conservancy's webpage.

Newport Beach is one of the top whale watching and marine mammal viewing destinations in the world and maintaining this unique and flourishing marine environment ensures that future generations may witness these amazing creatures for many years to come. Supporting the Conservancy was our thank you for this amazing park system.

For more information, contact Jessica Roame, MPA Cruise Facilitator at (949) 675-0551 x 118 or jessica@newportwhales.com.





MPA CRUISE OVERVIEW

The three hour MPA Citizen Science Cruise offers students in grades 7-12 the opportunity to explore the protected waters off the coast of Crystal Cove State Park. Students are assigned to one of three monitoring projects, where they will capture and take an up close look at plankton, drop a digital fishing camera down into the kelp forest to explore life below the ocean surface, and even collect water quality samples. The data that they collect will be shared with local scientists and resource managers who are studying and making decisions on how best to protect the underwater park.

For more information, contact Jessica Roame, MPA Cruise Facilitator at (949) 675-0551 x 118 or jessica@newportwhales.com.

  • In class presentation with marine mammal artifacts by an American Cetacean Society Naturalist before your trip. *dependent on distance and naturalist availability
  • Grade level appropriate curriculum packets that can be printed and used to brief students on what they may be seeing on their trip and how it connects with what they are studying (see links below).
  • Post trip activity sheets that connect with state standards that may be printed and given to students as a follow up learning activity. Additional fun and educational activities available for teacher/student use. (Click here to view material.)

Meet Our MPA Cruise Educators

Jessica

Marine Science Educator


Jessica is our education coordinator and whale watching naturalist for Newport Whales. She has a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences and extensive hands-on experience in marine biology. Not only does she enjoy teaching others about the wonders of the ocean, but she spends much of her free time as a volunteer for several organizations working with marine mammals, penguins, and sharks just to name a few. She's an avid S.C.U.B.A. diver, and our on-the-water educational programs have created a great platform for her to engage with youth, teach them about marine life and get them excited about our oceans. Who knew learning could be so fun!


Wesley

Marine Science Educator


Wesley is one of our whale watching naturalists and marine science educators at Newport Whales. Growing up in Boston, and receiving her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from the University of Maine, she has a wealth of experience in marine research and has a passion for the outdoors. She is very happy to be on the water educating the public about the amazing whales we see here in Newport Beach!



2016 sightings

Integer aliquam
2,400

Whales

Bibendum sapien
290,000

Dolphins

Quisque lorem
15

Sharks

Water vector designed by Freepik
 

A wonderfully fun and educational trip in 2017 that your students will never forget!


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