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Education and research

Dana Point’s responsible whale watching tour operators run projects in collaboration with academic institutions or NGO school outreach programs:

  • Research with the University of Redlands to monitor cetacean populations.
  • New research with the University of California San Diego and Whale Trust, using infrared drone footage.
  • Collaborative efforts to post daily cetacean sightings to WCA Partner Happywhale.
  • Working with the American Cetacean Society Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project at Pt. Vicente to track the migration and population of the California gray whale.

The Ocean Institute offers ocean science and maritime history programs for K–12 students and their teachers, as well as public, ocean-themed exhibits and its own research vessel.

A free, monthly ‘Whale Walk and Talk’ educational tour, starting from the Dana Point Nature Interpretive Centre, teaches guests about local marine mammals.

Dana Point is also home to the Gray Whale Education and Preservation Foundation, Festival of Whales Foundation, Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association and the Ocean Institute, all non-profits working together to educate the public on cetaceans as well as hosting various researchers for public lecture series and collaborating with visiting scholars on their current research activities.