The Ocean Institute, founded in 1977 as the Orange County Marine Institute, is a community-based 501 (c ) 3 organization that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The facility includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tallships, and an oceanographic research vessel.
Immersion-based field trips range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning.
Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week. The Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tall ship sails, and other unique events including our annual Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales.