The Gulf of Catalina Gray Whale Preservation & Education Foundation (GWF) educates children on the importance of the Gray Whale by creating an opportunity for students to engage in research.
We are a non-profit organization led by scientists, naturalists, and educators whose goal it is to protect our environment and inspire future generations of environmentalists, scientists, and ocean stewards.
Our mission is to create a hands-on opportunity for students to engage with their marine environment. By providing a unique and memorable experience on the water, we inspire students toward ocean stewardship and future involvement in activities that promote environmental awareness and conservation.
Students will share their experience and new found knowledge with their communities, creating a “ripple effect” of enthusiasm for ocean conservation. Moreover, by engaging young people in hands-on data collection and the application of basic scientific principles, we provide a spring-board from which they can pursue future scientific interests.
The Gulf of Catalina Gray Whale Preservation and Education Foundation’s ultimate goal is to create an environmental education program, centered around the Gray Whale and its ecosystem, that is funded solely by the private sector. We feel that by using Gray Whales as a “focal animal”, teachers and students have the opportunity to integrate subjects like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Engaging students in these areas of study is crucial to developing a work force and citizenry capable of thriving in our rapidly changing technological era. We want to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to go out on whale watching vessels and learn about the Gray Whale migration first-hand on the ocean.
With so much of public school funding being cut back year after year, we feel it is critical that we offer students an opportunity to get out of the classroom and experience life beyond their typical learning environment. A real live moment with nature establishes a connection that many never have the chance to establish. There are too many children that have never had the chance to even see the ocean. Our intent is to provide as many children as possible with the opportunity to see this wildlife in real life situations and overcome what many refer to these days as nature deficit disorder.
As schools are required more and more to meet federal content standards, less instructional time is devoted to local and regional history and education. Our foundation is working with individual schools, teachers and school districts to come up with a West Coast regional curriculum. We feel our curriculum provides a way for teachers to meet federal science standards while still educating students on on the culture, history, and biology associated with the California Gray Whale.