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Professional Tidepool Educator Program at Treasure Island Seashore

Since 2006, Montage Resort & Spa has provided an annual donation that supports, Laguna Ocean Foundation’s interpretive education program at the Treasure Island tidepools. It allows the Foundation to provide paid professional educators with Marine Biology and other specialized training to answer questions and educate visitors about the tidepools and the sea life within them when the tidepools are most exposed. They also provide education about the MPA and its rules. The program has been very effective and patrons and visitors from around the world have walked away with a fuller understanding of the rocky intertidal environment. The Educators provide on-site resource interpretation and love to share their knowledge and joy of the local ecosystem, flora and fauna. Educators are at the tidepools year around when the tide is below 2.5 feet and the weather is enjoyable.

Tidepool Educators keep record of how many individuals visit the area, how many visitors we contact, the number of incidents observed that are inconsistent with the MPA regulations, and the weather and sea conditions.


Professional Tidepool Educator Program at Heisler Park State Marine Reserve

In June 2009, Laguna Ocean Foundation received the Whale Tail Grant from the California Coastal Commission in order to launch a new professional tidepool education program at Heisler Park State Marine Reserve. The program is modeled after the Treasure program where Educators provide on-site resource interpretation to visitors. An annual anonymous grant allows the program at Heisler to continue to provide Educators are at the tidepools on weekends year around when the tide is below 2.5 feet and the weather is enjoyable.



Volunteer Program

Volunteers have been the bedrock of our Foundation since we began in 2003. Even before the Foundation was created, Tidewater Docents provided tidepool interpretation to visitors along the Laguna Beach coast. As of today there are over 100 active volunteers who help carry on our mission to educate visitors about the unique ecology in the intertidal and about our Marine Protected Areas. Interested in becoming a volunteer for the Laguna Ocean Foundation? Keep reading to see how you can get involved.


  • Educate visitors at tidepools as a Tidewater Docent
  • Provide outreach and education at community events
  • Run activities or presentations in a classroom
  • Collect data for research projects
  • Create lesson plans for K-12 students
  • Participate in beach clean-ups
  • Overall organizational assistance

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to volunteer for the Laguna Ocean


Are there any requirements to volunteer?

In order to become an official volunteer for the Laguna Ocean Foundation, you need to be 18 years or older. In addition, we ask that you commit to volunteering at least twice a month. Don’t worry, our shifts are usually 3 hours each so that’s only 6 hours a month! If you’re still interested in volunteering but are under 18, then keep an eye out for our beach clean-ups. There’s no age restriction for helping to keep our beaches clean!

Where would I volunteer at?

The majority of our volunteer opportunities will be in Laguna Beach. However, we cover all of Orange County. Tidepool education is typically provided at one of the following locations: Crescent Bay, North or South Shaw’s Cove, Treasure Island, Woods Cove, Heisler Park or Goff Island.

Do you provide training?

Volunteers receive free training that introduces them to intertidal life and the Marine Protected Area system in California. Additional training materials are provided for continued education and reference.

Is there anything else I need to know before I sign up to become a volunteer?

If you’re interested in volunteering at the tidepools and becoming a Tidewater Docent, please note that you may be subject to extreme conditions. You’ll have the choice of which tidepool location you volunteer at, but some locations are easier to access than others. All locations are accessed from the beach and are on a rocky terrain. Please note that we’ll never ask you to volunteer in conditions where you feel unsafe.

I’m interested in signing up, what’s my next step?

We’re excited to have you join our volunteer program! If interested in becoming a volunteer for the Laguna Ocean Foundation, please fill out this form.

What's a Tidewater Docent?

A Tidewater Docent is a volunteer that has been trained to educate the public about our intertidal ecosystems and the importance of the Marine Protection Areas in Laguna Beach.