The Coastal Institute provides outdoor education opportunities for children and adults through residential science camp programs, adventure trips, and expert-led excursions.  We are a branch of Camp Ocean Pines, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world that operates a camp and conference center on the beautiful central coast of California.

Here at The Coastal Institute, we are dedicated to helping students of all ages awaken their curiosity, explore nature, and create connections - both with each other and with the world around them.  Keep reading to learn more about our different program options!

Residential science camp

Our science camp program provides three, four, and five day camp programs to public school groups, private school groups, and other youth groups throughout the school year (September through June.)  Our residential site is Camp Ocean Pines, located on the central coast of California and known for comfortable facilities, excellent food, and incredible ocean views.

Our unique location, in a pine-oak forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean, has allowed us to develop a curriculum that explores each aspect of California’s dynamic coastline.  Students who attend our programs will search for salamanders in the forest, explore the intertidal zone at our local tide pools, meet a live bird of prey, and much more!

student adventure trips

The Coastal Institute staff are also available to plan and lead customized trips for groups of high school students.  We have taken student groups to Big Sur, Catalina Island, Channel Islands National Park, and even Hawaii!  Our experienced staff will handle trip logistics, transportation, and gear so that you can focus on enjoying the experience with your students!


UC California Naturalist Course

We have partnered with the University of California to host the UC California Naturalist certification course, a week-long adult educational workshop, which we offer twice a year at camp.  The workshop “uses a science curriculum, hands-on learning, problem-solving, citizen science, and community service to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources.”