I was driving past the SEA Lab in Redondo recently, which many of us in the Beach Cities do often, and I wondered how many of our neighbors actually really know about all of the great things it offers. In the spirit of that, I thought I would share a few cool key tidbits about the SEA Lab and the LA Conservation Corps, which operates and manages it.
- It was opened in 1997 as a hands-on science center focusing on marine conservation and education programs that educate schoolchildren and visitors about marine life and the importance of protecting our oceans.
- They do a ton of free or really inexpensive field trips with kids from all over Los Angeles. They range from touring the West Basin Water Education Center to beach exploration to fishing trips to water conservation programs. They also hold MANY workshops at the Lab all year long for K-12 students.
- The SEA Lab was created by the amazing Earth Island Institute and Southern California Edison at a cost of $4,000,000. If you don't know about the EIA, definitely check out their website.
- The Traveling Tidepool visits 86 public schools, impacts over 7,000 students, attends over 20 community events, rescues an average of 1,810 marine creatures and travels over 6,000 miles to more than 45 cities and 4 counties each year.
- They have a native plant nursery that grows coastal native plants used for local habitat restoration projects. Corpsmembers participate in all the steps of the growing process from collecting seeds to planting the native vegetation in and around the South Bay area.
- Every Saturday at 12 p.m. they have a public fish feeding. For $2 per tray of food, you can help feed the fish in their tidepool tank.
One of the great things about the LA Conservation Corps is that they really engage local youth. Each year approximately 500 middle school and high school kids get the opportunity to gain environmental work experience through their Clean & Green program. Mentors cultivate a positive work ethic that trains the youths to be responsible and dedicated workers who see the value of staying in school, preparing for college and giving back to their communities. It is a pretty great program and if you are interested in learning more about how kids and young adults can participate, their Youth Build website is awesome.