Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops  

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops

    Beginning Monday, November 28 2021 in accordance with LA City ordinance #187219, anyone 12 and older participating in indoor programs at or entering Cabrillo Marine Aquarium must show proof of full vaccination. There are no religious or medical exemptions and proof of a negative COVID test will not be allowed. Proof of vaccination will be required to be shown for all students 12 and up, all teachers and all chaperones.

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops provide interactive and engaging experiences that focus on a wide range of marine biology topics.

Topics offered include:
    1-What Lives on the Sandy Beach,
    2-Life on the Rocky Shores*,
    3-Salt Marsh and Plankton,
    4-Habitat Comparison, and

Each class includes an introduction with a presentation specifically designed for that topic, in addition to interactions with the live animals at the Aquarium. Conservation issues are incorporated in all classes.

  • Days offered: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday
  • Dates offered: October - June
  • Length of program: 3 hours
  • Times offered:
  • Fee**: $350 for up to 35 students, $10 for each additional student. Scholarships available
  • Maximum number of participants: 40

Programs are adaptable to grade-specific Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Reservation Symbol
To schedule a visit, please submit your reservation request here.

* Life on the Rocky Shores is only available on low tide dates; please see specific options on the Reservation Form.
** Grant-funded support & scholarships are available for financial assistance. Please call Our Reservation Team for more information (310) 548-7562

Salt Marsh and Plankton

Program Length: 3 hours

Day/Time Offered: Tuesday - Friday

Grades: 3 - 12

Location: Outdoor - Cabrillo Marine Aquarium / Cabrillo Coastal Park

Program Cost: $350 for up to 35 students, $10 for each additional student.*

Month(s) Offered: October - June

The Salt Marsh Habitat is a unique and vital connection between land, fresh water, and the ocean. The coastal California watershed historically linked many freshwater wetlands fed by the coastal mountain ranges to natural springs, creeks, rivers, and reached the ocean opening up to plentiful and ecologically productive salt marshes, the predominant shallow water coastal ocean habitat.

This connective watershed is still in evidence today but heavily impacted by waves of colonization, urban development, the design of urban watersheds as concrete and impermeable spaces, and the deforestation of the coastal basin of native trees and vegetation. These factors have profound effects on the health of land, air, fresh water and ocean habitats. 

Coastal salt marshes and riparian freshwater wetlands are a primary feeding, nesting and stopover habitat for birds, both migratory and resident, as well as important habitat for native plants, mammals, and insects, and a productive habitat for photosynthetic marine organisms that support and create the foundation of the food chain in the oceans.

The Salt Marsh and Plankton virtual Sea Search class examines; salt marsh ecology, migratory and resident animal life, native plants, how the salt marsh functions as a blue carbon habitat, climate change concepts, water quality, watersheds, and the effects of water quality on the marine food chain.

Class components may include; demonstrations observing plankton samples through a microscope and observing animals that begin their life as plankton, to understand how planktonic stages make up part of the life cycle of many ocean animals, and why plankton is an important base of the food chain in the ocean.

Format of the the program will include time observing live animals and specimen, discussion and methods of observation, discussion and observations of tanks and animals in order to present a holistic understanding of the topics. 

This interactive class relates ocean ecology and scientific understanding to observable phenomena through inquiry.


Class includes access to interactive CMA Padlet web page accessible to participating teachers and students to provide extensive virtual learning resources as additional pre or post class activities.

* Financial assistance is available for the Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops.

Our programs can be made accessible to all audiences. Persons with disabilities are welcome to participate. Reasonable accommodations will be made with prior arrangements.

Reservation Symbol
To schedule a visit, please submit your reservation request here.

Want your kids to take home some souvenirs but don't want to hassle going to the Gift Shop? Pre-order Aquarium treasure bags before your field trip with this handy Treasure Bag order form. Treasure bags are economical and convenient and will be ready for pick up on the day of your field trip.


Have a question? Please call 310-548-7562 or send us an email.


Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops are L.A. City Board of Education-approved and follow guidelines of the Science Framework, the National Science Benchmarks, and California State Board Science Content Standards.