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Wed, Jun 05



Snorkeling in Catalina: Community Science Program

We have partnered with Bleu World to bring an extraordinary summer opportunity to students in SoCal! This is day one of our two day community science snorkeling program. Come to one day or both! June 5th and July 18th. Click to read more and to join us!

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Snorkeling in Catalina: Community Science Program
Snorkeling in Catalina: Community Science Program

Time & Location

Jun 05, 2024, 8:45 AM – 5:00 PM

Avalon, Catalina Casino, 1 Casino Way, Avalon, CA 90704, USA

About the event

Date: Wednesday, June 5th 2024

Time: 8:45 am  - 5:00 pm (This time includes ferry to Catalina and full snorkel day)

Location: Casino Point Dive Park, Avalon

Cost: See Options Below

This is the first snorkel of the two-part series! Registration for each event is separate. Come to one day, or come to both! Read below for more details...

Full Program Includes:

Round trip ferry to Catalina Island

All snorkeling & scientific dive gear

Full day at Casino Point Dive Park

Survey Briefings & Fish ID Training

2 REEF Snorkeling Surveys

Data entry in the field

Coastal Cleanup

Join Bleu World’s team of community scientists on Catalina Island to learn about our kelp forests, contribute to research on the biodiversity of these precious ecosystems, and become a steward of the underwater world. Your day on the island will begin by learning how to identify the fish that call our kelp forests home. When you’re ready, you’ll hop into the ocean with our guides to conduct a citizen science survey by counting the fish you see and recording that data on a slate created by REEF’s Volunteer Fish Survey Project. When you’re not in the water, you and your group will eliminate marine debris by cleaning the coastline of your survey site. As a new citizen scientist, we will make sure you have a REEF portal where you can submit your data and you will get your very own REEF survey sheet to take home with you so that you can conduct snorkel surveys at beaches near you!

Our Citizen Science Snorkel program takes place at two of our monitoring sites on Catalina Island; Casino Point Dive Park and Bleu Grotto.  JUNE 5th:  Casino Point Dive Park is a No-Take State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and thanks to its protected status, the dive park is full of vibrant life. The underwater park was made famous by Jacques Cousteau and is the first park in the country dedicated to underwater exploration. This site is also home to a seasonal population of the critically endangered Giant Black Sea Bass who spend their time in the healthy Giant Kelp and undergrowth that covers the area. There are schools of fish as far as the eye can see that draw sea birds and sea lions who swim through looking for their next meal. On a good day, Casino Dive Park visibility can be up to 100 feet; even on a bad day divers enjoy visibility of up to 40 feet.  Frequently spotted species include Garibaldi, Black Sea Bass, Sea Lions, Moray Eels, Octopus and much much more.  Located just off the coast of the casino building in Avalon, the ecosystem found beneath the surface of this site is well worth the trip. (This registration is for June 5th)

July 18th: Bleu Grotto does not fall within a protected area and as a result, there are boats that anchor and fish here, invasive algae called Sargassum that has taken up residence here, and marine debris from Avalon that floats here on the waves. Despite all of these conservation issues, however, Bleu Grotto is resilient. There’s a coziness in the lush plant life that covers the reef and a familiarity in the friendly faces of the Lobsters and Garibaldi you encounter all across the site. Located about 3/4 miles down the coast of Catalina and accessible by kayak, Bleu Grotto was named by our team to represent the beautiful simplicity of its underwater ecosystems. (Registration is separate for July 18th)

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

~ Jacques Cousteau

June 5th Itinerary:

8:45 AM - Meet at the Catalina Express in Long Beach and take the 1-hour ferry to Avalon

11:30 AM - Participants arrive at Casino Point Dive Park, check out snorkel gear

12:00 PM - Briefing on community science, REEF, and kelp forest ecosystems

12:30 PM - Snorkel #1: Getting comfortable in the water and practicing fish ID

1:30 PM - Fish ID practice and snacks

2:00 PM - Snorkel #2: Pair up and conduct REEF community science surveys

2:45 PM - Debrief and gear return

3:00 PM - Program end, go to ferry

5:00 PM - Pick up at the Catalina Express in Long Beach

What ages is this good for?

AGE requirement: Recommended for Grades 3rd-12th and families

Grades 5th and below will need an adult 18+ to accompany them in the water. Please plan on sending a chaperone.

Grades 6th+ will be with BleuWorld and HFAC educators, and their dive partner, in and out of the water.

Student MUST be comfortable swimming in the deep end at a pool. Please only send students that want to snorkel.:)

Do I drop-off or can I stay?

Grades 6th+, Drop-off at Catalina Express in Long Beach at 9:45 a.m. or Casino Dive Park in Avalon at 11:15 a.m....go enjoy your day while your student is collecting scientific data! You may also come to the snorkeling area with us to hang out - but all students in 5th and below will need an adult with them in the water at all times. These adults will need their own separate ticket. Please note that daily parking at Catalina Express is $24.95. If you are curb-side dropping off with us, there is no need to pay for the parking fee.

What do students bring?

We will be sending out an Everything You Need to Know email at least one-week in advance. Students should bring a backpack with a change of clothes, bathing suit, sweatshirt, and a packed lunch with snacks. Included in the price are more snacks and all snorkeling equipment and wetsuits are included in the price. This backpack should be comfortably carried. 


Entire Program (Includes Ferry) - $229

Science Program Only for student or parent, no ferry (meet us at Casino Dive Park) - $139

Ferry Only, for those that are going to the island with us, but not participating in the educational sessions: $95


If you have any questions, please reach out to us!

We hope you can join us for both of the experiences. It will be incredible to study the differences between the marine protected area and the area that is not a protected site. If you need additional study materials for your student, we can recommend some books and websites for their grade level. Let us know!

Thank you...see you in the underwater world.



Payment Plan available

This event is refundable with a 15% cancellation fee up until May 22nd. Although, deposits are non-refundable as this holds the spot making it unavailable for others to book. Thank you for understanding.

If the trip is cancelled due to ferry cancellation, the entire cost of the program will be refunded to you or applied as an HFAC credit to other events.

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