Showing posts tagged as "watsonville"

What makes WATCH a winner? Our “Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats” program recently won a Noyce Foundation “Bright Lights” award for outstanding community engagement. Our Executive Director Julie Packard tells why. 

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High school senior Graham Foster wants a future in science when he graduates. He took a big step toward that goal when he joined 75 other students from Pajaro Valley High School, Aptos High School and Watsonville High School for the Aquarium’s Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats (WATCH) program.

The award-winning education program begins with a two-week outdoor summer camp and continues through the school year. Boogie boarding, exploring riparian habitats and creating sand sculptures, combined with visits to organic farms and waste-water treatment plants immerse the teens in diverse habitats and introduce them to people who are making a difference in their community.

Alongside educators and local ecologists, the students learn scientific methods to evaluate the health of local wetland habitats. WATCH students gain a better understanding of ocean systems, and their commitment to ocean conservation issues grows stronger because of it. They also become more personally connected to the ocean, committed to conservation and confident in their ability to make informed, environmentally sound choices.

WATCH students continue their summer camp experience in the classroom the following year where they pursue a larger environmental project that involves community awareness and conservation. Several teens previously enrolled in WATCH programs have earned regional and national recognition for their conservation initiatives.

“The impact these high school students have on their community and surrounding environment is very impressive,” says Rita Bell, director of the Aquarium’s education programs. “Their enthusiasm for the environment, for learning and for one another, is infectious!”

Interested? Learn more about our education programs!

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The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.