O’Neill Sea Odyssey

2222 East Cliff Drive, Suite 222 , Santa Cruz, CA 95062

O’Neill Sea Odyssey (OSO) was founded in 1996 by wetsuit innovator and surfer Jack O’Neill. A living classroom was created on board a 65-foot catamaran sailing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where 4th – 6th grade students from schools throughout Central California receive hands-on lessons about the marine habitat and the importance of the relationship between the living sea and the environment. The program is conducted on board the catamaran with follow-up lessons at the shore-side Education Center at the Santa Cruz Harbor. It is free of charge, but students earn their way into the program by designing and performing a project to benefit their community.

The curriculum is taught in a stimulating and intimate learning environment, which provides a learning experience that lasts a lifetime. The program’s curriculum is designed to support the educational goals of the schools that participate, and each of the subjects taught align with both California state and federal education standards. The three subjects taught are marine science, marine and watershed ecology, and navigation/mathematics.

OSO has served 75,000 students since its inception. In 2004 the program received the prestigious California Governor’s award in Economic and Environmental Leadership, in 2005 it received US Senator Barbara Boxer’s Conservation Champion award, and in 2013 OSO received the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Community Impact Award.


Recent Grantee News


2006 Grantees


Marsh Youth Theater (2005 Garcia Award)  $10,000 WWQZ-FM (2005 Gleason Award) $10,000 Mercy Corps (2005 Graham Award) $10,000 African Environmental Human Rights Investigator $2,500 Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity $5,000 Berkeley High School Student Court $5,000 Black Rock Arts Foundation $5,000 Give Me Back My Rights Campaign $2,500 Kids on Broadway $2,500 O’Neill Sea Odyssey $5,000 Project Avary $5,000 Project Help Mexico $2,500 Seven Tepees Youth Program $5,000 […]