In 1997, a group of local teachers, scientists, and resource managers from marine science and education organizations around Monterey Bay came together to fill a perceived need for marine science education in our schools. They developed a plan for a residential marine science program to capitalize on the unique natural and institutional resources of our region.
This vision was supported by broad-based local advocacy and seed funding from the Packard Foundation, California Sea Grant, and the California Coastal Commission. With this community-driven vision, dedicated partnerships, and unique collaborations, Camp SEA Lab was born, offering its first one-week pilot camp in the summer of 2000.
From the first program of 35 campers, we have grown to annually serving 3,000 youth locally through both outdoor school and summer camp programs. Last year we reached the milestone of 25,000 youth served. Camp SEA Lab is additionally supported by the Friends of Camp SEA Lab a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of a board from the local community and collaborating institutions.
Why should you choose Camp SEA Lab over other camps or outdoor school programs?
We make science and learning exciting and fun
breaking the barrier of what it is to be a scientist. We provide kids with life goals for how to incorporate the ocean, science, and learning into their lives.
We connect kids to the ocean
physically, mentally, emotionally—and enrich their lives by doing so.
We connect kids with their own passions
helping them to establish their own identities, and to feel empowered to move forward in their lives in positive ways.
We provide kids with "firsts"
challenging them to move beyond their comfort zones physically and socially, while also keeping them safe.
We are accredited
By the American Camp Association for summer camp, fulfilling their high standards for camp operations all year round. We have detailed written safety protocols for all of our activities, including all aquatic activities. We hire staff to oversee small groups of campers (6–8 campers for summer; approximately 15 for outdoor school) who are college graduates, experienced in outdoor education settings, certified in CPR, and as lifeguards for summer camp.
Program Affiliates, Past and Present
- California State University, Monterey Bay
- Kayak Connection
- Sea Harvest
- Elkhorn Slough Foundation
- Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
- Moss Landing Marine Labs
- Monterey Bay Kayaks
- Hopkins Marine Station
- Seymour Discovery Center
- Call of the SEA
- O'Neill Sea Odyssey
- The Marine Mammal Center
- Mother Nature's Temple
- Wishbone Foundation
- Monterey County Office of Education
- California State Parks
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary