Student Summer Program:
Guardians of the Sea

A four day (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) daily boat and local island based educational adventure that spans the marine ecosystem. From eel grass, to forage fish, to seals, to seabirds, we believe experiential education initiates a desire to save our natural world. 

We combined our three pillars of influence to create an incredible student summer program!


Guardians of the Sea is a four-day summer program for students who are passionate about protecting the orcas and the ecosystems they depend.  Each day includes fun boat-based and local island-based adventures on the Salish Sea and throughout the San Juan Islands. Student participants experience a vast amount of environmental richness as they look at all levels of ecosystem health, from water quality to whales!



Each day includes a different research project requiring active student participation for data collection to help monitor ecosystem health. This is great exposure to marine scientific inquiry, marine research equipment, survey methodologies, long term data sets, quantitative analysis, field research



We are so proud to also include discussions and suggestions of personal action steps each student can take to continue improving ecosystem health every day. 

Each day (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) focuses on one of the topics listed below, however we never can predict what marine life each day will bring! Click on the round picture to learn more.


Learn all about Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, Harbor Porpoises and the ecosystems they depend upon.

We will also contribute data/sightings to PACMAM

Research Project:

Porpoise & Pinniped Survey


learn more



Learn all about Minke, Gray, and Humpback Whales and the ecosystem they depend upon.

We will also contribute data/sightings to Happy Whale and the PNW Minke ID project. 

Research Project:

Microplastic Sampling

learn more


ORCA day 

Learn all about Southern Resident and Bigg's Orcas and the ecosystems they depend upon.

If we come across orcas while on the water, we will contribute behaviorial data to Orca Behavior Institute.

Research Project:

Water Quality

learn more

ORCA CALLSHydrophone
00:00 / 00:18

Each day also includes:

stress-reduction practices

Stress-reduction practices (mindfulness activities) such as nature journaling, breath work, and increased awareness of surroundings will be implemented to help awaken the senses and enable one to be fully present in the moment. 

Mindfulness practices have been show to improve breathing, lower heart rate, improve circulation, improve immune function, reduce physcial stress responses, improve sleet, and much more. Learn more here

an unplugged experience

Guardians of the Sea provides important time away from the computer, TV, and cell phone enabling more time for learning, interacting, and 100% engagement.

"The urge to check Twitter or refresh Reddit becomes a nervous twitch that shatters uninterrupted time into shards too small to support the presence necessary for an intentional life.

- Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism

After completing a four day program, students will become an official "Guardian of the Sea" and

earn our exclusive hat containing our yellow trident. 

want to enroll?

choose an age group:

"Our teenage daughter thoroughly enjoyed the time she spent with the Salish Sea School. She experienced so many new things traveling around to different islands and learning from the wonderful instructors about the species in and around the Salish Sea. The hands-on experience really helped her acquire new knowledge in an exciting way and she continues to tell us what she learned about the whales, fish, and bird life. The school filled her with a sense of global responsibility, environmental stewardship, and personal confidence."

Libby, Parent

Anacortes, WA

"Every individual matters, every individual has a role to play, every individual makes a difference."   Jane Goodall

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the salish sea school   |   creating student leaders in marine conservation |   anacortes, wa


501(c)(3) EIN 83-3277816