come learn how

it is all connected

sample program schedule

We believe that understanding the ecosystem connection is the way to save the orcas and the oceans. Our programs focus on a different part of the ecosystem each day, while also providing take-home action steps specific to each topic for continued advocacy. 

sample daily schedule

We do the best we can to plan each day, but ultimately Mother Nature makes the final decision and no day will be alike! Weather conditions will dictact if/when we go out on the water. If conditions do not permit boat travel, we will be exploring all that Fidalgo has to offer or ferry to another island for new adventures. 



Students arrive no later than 7:45 a.m. to Skyline Marina where the day begins with our daily lesson. We will discuss the focus lesson of the day, talk about what we hope to see that day, review the specific citizen science protocol participants will be helping with, understand the purpose of the research that will be conducted, and end with a short journaling activity. 



On board and departing marina to help with the first citizen science project! First up is the Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) survey at Smith Island (weather permitting)! Students will follow protocols developed by WDFW's Tufted Puffin Reovery Plan to help establish population trends that help provide valuable information for the WA state status report through our boat-based surveys. 



On the way there we further review and discuss protocols as we enjoy the incredible Salish Sea! We also are always looking for any marine flora and fauna. When we find it, we stop and spend time observing, identifying an animal's behavior, dicussing its scientific and common names. After arriving to Smith Island Aquatic Reserve, we begin our survey!



Conclusion of the Tufted Puffin survey research findings.  We head to James Island, looking for more marine life on the way, and then enjoy our lunch and a brief hike!



Lunch on James Island (students can specify dietary needs on student registration form).

All lunches are served with fresh, local, and healthy ingredients.



Lunch will be followed by a short island hike where students will take in the beauty of the island in a mindfulness practice and field journaling activity. 



Back aboard for experiential science lesson of the day: zoo/phyto plankton sampling and observations under a microscope!



Exploration in search of marine life hanging around the area that day, this could be seals, sea lions, gray whales, humpback whales, Bigg's orcas, sea birds, eagles, eagle nest, osprey, etc. All Be Whale Wise and federal regulations are followed during any marine mammal sighting.*



Head back to Skyline Marina for a short group recap, discuss advocay, write a few action letters, and journal reflections from the day.



Daily program concludes at Skyline Marina.  

Other places we may visit include:  Friday Harbor's Orca Survey and Outreach Center by Center for Whale Research, Sucia Island, Matia Island, Waldron Island, Vendovi Island, Bowman Bay, Coronet Bay, Deception Pass State Park, Cypress Island, Yellow Island, and much more!

This is a daily program. Student participants must find their own transportation to and from Skyline Marina in Anacortes, WA each day. Skagit Transit does have a pick-up/drop-off within a 2 minute walk. 

Note: This is merely a sample daily guide; the beauty of Guardians of the Sea is that no two days or excursions are ever alike! The only things that remain the same each day are the involvement in data collection for a citizen science project, an educational lesson, mindfulness practices, an environmental service project (when needed in the area), and being unplugged.


*There is never a guarantee to see whales. 

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


501(c)(3) EIN 83-3277816