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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 31  |  April 16, 2021

Ocean Institute announces reopening for April 10

Ocean Institute is welcoming the public back to its campus and learning spaces on Saturday, April 10. After a year of virtual and outdoor activities, the institute will open fully, including two new exhibits that enable visitors to explore local marine life in a hands-on and interactive way.

The Sahm Family Foundation Marine Education Center featuring shark encounters was slated to celebrate its grand opening on March 18, 2020. Over a year later, the exhibit will open, allowing visitors to learn about shark anatomy, life cycles, research, and conservation, through artifacts, interactive demonstrations, and a beautiful horn shark touch tank.

Ocean Institute is also opening a new Marine Mammal exhibit in the Chambers Gallery. The exhibit features the ecological history of whales and dolphins and their place in our modern-day environment. 

Ocean Institute Campus

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Submitted photo

Ocean Institute reopens its doors after a year of virtual and outdoor activities 

Participants in weekend Marine Mammal Cruises will get exclusive access to the exhibit prior to departure. In addition to new exhibits, the Ocean Institute staff and volunteers stand ready to guide visitors through a wide range of experiences. 

From squid dissections to panning for gold, from archeology and artifact explorations to “getting granular” with sand, from sounds of the sea-to-sea star feeding behaviors, from raising sails to lowering the mud grab, Ocean Institute offers something for everyone.

In addition to the indoor experiences, Ocean Institute will continue to offer

the many outdoor activities that were created to meet the public’s need for enrichment during the pandemic. Tidepool hikes, geology walks, and kayak tours continue to bring visitors to some of the most interesting and captivating spaces in the Dana Point Harbor and visitors can experience the wonders of native plants in the recently restored native plant garden with the naturalist team.

Land-based offerings are enhanced with Ocean Institute’s on-the-water programs. Visitors can become part of the crew while sailing on the Spirit of Dana Point or become an oceanographer for the day on the R/V Sea Explorer. Back on land, the newly redesigned gift shop offers souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Ocean Institute is open to the public on weekends and non-school days from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. According to President Dr. Wendy Marshall, “We are thankful to our community for supporting us through the most difficult days, and look forward to opening our doors again, better than ever!”

For more information and tickets to all Ocean Institute activities, visit or call (949) 496-2274.


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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