The Benefits of Environmental Science Camp on Catalina Island
Mountain and Sea Adventures' location at Emerald Bay has many advantages not found at any other site on Catalina Island. Our salt-water aquarium has two touch tanks, and several different tanks for each ecosystem found around the island. This gives each student the opportunity to touch a leopard shark, shovel nose guitarfish, various types of rays, and a plethora of various invertebrates.
We bring students out on our research vessel to do plankton trawls, collecting live specimen for observation in our microscope lab. This is a highlight for each student who participates, who get to see actual phyto and zooplankton under a high power microscope. This adds a highly impactful experience to their environmental science camp field trip to Catalina Island.
Every student who comes out to camp has the chance to learn about the local species of fish before learning to put on a wet suit and going through a class on how to use a mask and snorkel. We then go out at one of the top 3 diving locations in California to see a kelp forest and rocky reef habitat. This activity has inspired many of our alumni to pursue a degree and career in marine biology, as the uncomparable experience of seeing a new world below the surface inspires an appreciation for the ocean environment in a way nothing else can.
There are many rare marine birds that visit Catalina Island. Coming to science camp with MSA allows each student to learn how to kayak, as we go out to explore the favorite nesting grounds and habitats of brown pelicans, cormorants, great blue herons, oystercatchers and many other such birds. One of the attractions of Emerald Bay that sets it apart from other camps on the island is the large nesting grounds that can be found on the rocky reef, called Indian Rock. Kayaking out to this ecological preserve allows students to gain a rare glimpse of this delicate habitat.
Coming out to environmental science camp on Catalina Island with MSA offers many unique benefits which only an outdoor education experience can provide. This provides the perfect highlight to the end of the year, or a way to build unity and high morale as you kick your school year off. Each season on the island has something special to offer for everyone.