O’Neill Sea Odyssey welcomed aboard the program’s 100,00th student on Thursday, September 27, 2018. Stephanie Martinez’ 5th grade class from Live Oak Elementary School along with O’Neill Sea Odyssey staff, board members and the Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, David Terrazas, gathered on the net before the Team O’Neill set sail.
Captain Tim O’Neill, who cofounded the program with his father, Jack, in 1996, was the skipper on this day. As the fog cleared, the Santa Cruz coastline lit up, and mountains covered in redwoods matched the same color green as the plankton rich sea below us. How fortunate we are to share this gem of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with students from Santa Cruz County, the Monterey Bay and beyond.
Thank you to all our supporters, friends and of course to the students. Our students’ bright smiles, endless curiosity and capacity for knowledge will lead to the continuation of protecting this area and they will go on to make big waves in the world of conservation and education!
Jack O’Neill knew that providing children with the first hand experience of riding the bow of the catamaran, catching microscopic plankton, and observing marine life in their natural habitat was the key to protecting the ocean. Through this experience, O’Neill Sea Odyssey students become ocean stewards and understand their connection to ocean life. Thank you Captain Jack for your vision!
Think of all the sets of eyes that have peered through the catamaran’s net, for many students this is their first time on a boat in the ocean. Impressions like this last a lifetime.
Photos: Nikki Brooks