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Key to the Sea
- Key to the Sea is a K-5 marine education program.
- Free Professional Development is provided for teachers.
- The Beach Exploration Field Trip for your students engages their senses and environmental awareness.
- A confirmed field trip date with one of our partner field trip locations is required before you can register for a workshop.
Where Your Classroom Meets the Ocean
- Schedule Your Field Trip
Explore all the Field Trip Options, then contact one of our four partner aquaria listed below to schedule a field trip. Make sure to request the Key to the Sea program! Note: a confirmed field trip date is required before you can register for a workshop.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
3720 Stephen M. White Dr.
San Pedro, CA 90731
P.O. Box 1
Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
1021 North Harbor Dr.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
1600 Ocean Front Walk
Santa Monica, CA 90401
- You must have a confirmed field trip date before registering for a Key to the Sea Workshop.
All teachers, including veterans, must submit their information on the registration form.
Questions and comments
- Send an e-mail about Key to the Sea
- Call 310-393-6149 x108
Useful PDF Documents
Partners & Sponsors
City of Long Beach Department of Public Works
Employees Community Fund of Boeing California
Hauptman Family Foundation
Santa Monica Seafood
The Wells Fargo Foundation
We’re always searching for grantors to support this program. If you would like to contribute, please send an e-mail or call 310.393.6149 x108.
Key to the Sea is Heal the Bay’s free* marine environmental education program for teachers and elementary school children (K-5) in Los Angeles County. The program focuses on watersheds, the storm drain system, pollution prevention, the sandy beach habitat, and environmental stewardship. It includes engaging hands-on activities for students, including a field trip to the beach, as well as exciting professional development opportunities for teachers.
*Note: Some field trip locations may have additional costs. Please refer to the Field Trip Options. Buses are not provided; however, some funding may be available. Please call 310-393-6149 x108 for more information.
If you have questions regarding a Key to the Sea field trip scheduled for the current school year, please email:
Be sure to reserve a field trip time and date FIRST with the aquarium you plan to visit before signing up for the workshop.
- Professional Development
- Beach Exploration Field Trip
- Post Field Trip Activities
- Post Program Evaluation
The professional development teacher workshops are a required component of the Key to the Sea program. Every teacher who is participating in the field trip must attend a workshop (or be Veteran/Year3+). During the workshop, you will be given a multi-disciplinary standards-aligned curriculum guide as well as supplies to implement lessons back in the classroom. Teachers find the workshops fun and inspiring – and we serve lunch!
- For K-5 teachers participating in Key to the Sea for the first time.
- Topics: watersheds, local marine life, marine conservation, & more.
- Includes: a supply-filled tote bag and curriculum guide!
- For K-5 teachers who completed Workshop I & participated in a Key to the Sea field trip last year.
- Topics: Waves and tides, habitats, plastics in the ocean & more.
- Includes: “Make-and-take” teaching tools, curriculum guide, & t-shirt!
Veteran Teacher Participation
Once you have completed Workshop I and Workshop II, there are no further workshops to attend in order to have a Key to the Sea field trip.
Still, it is mandatory that veteran teachers submit their own form.
The heart of the Key to the Sea program for your students is a field trip to a local aquarium and beach. The field trip is designed to encourage students to use their senses and become aware of the environment around them, and includes:
- Guided Beach Exploration: Students dig for animals in the sand, examine seaweed and search for signs of life.
- Bird Detectives: Using binoculars, students identify shore birds and their adaptations.
- Pollution and Solutions: Students learn about pollution and how they can help.
Field trips take place at one of our four partner aquaria: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Roundhouse Aquarium, SEA Lab and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
After the field trip, your students will enjoy the enviro-frames and photos, along with other post-field trip lessons.
After participating this school year, including your workshop, using the classroom curricula, and taking your field trip, please remember to fill out the Post Program Evaluation for Workshop 1 or Workshop 2/Veterans. This helps to secure future funding and improve the program.