Summer Programs:
Guardians of the Sea (13-17 years old)
Guardians of the Sea Jr. (10-12 years old)
Our CV19 Policies

Guardians of the Sea is 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 combine our three pillars of influence to provide an incredible student summer program. 


Each day includes fun boat-based and local island-based educational adventures  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, and more.


We are so proud to also include discussions and suggestions for personal action steps each student can take to continue improving ecosystem health every day.  This includes simple at-home steps or learning about the importance of letter writing to elected officials. 

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 local and seasonal seabirds and the ecosystems they depend upon. 

We will also collect data/sightings on Tufted Puffins and general marine birds to eBird.

Research Project:

Seabird Survey

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:

Marine Debris Survey

learn more



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
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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

Summer 2021 Dates

Guardians of the Sea Jr. (10-12 year olds): 

 |  July 20-23*  |  August 3-6*  |  August 10-13*  |

Guardians of the Sea (13-17 year olds):  

|  June 22-25*  |  July 6-9*  |   

*In 2021, we will add a "Guardians of the Sea Introductory Day" where students meet in person for a few hours to learn what to expect during the four days ahead. This Introductory Day will be the Monday before the program dates listed.

want to enroll?

choose an age group:

"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