2020 Grants Challenge
🎉 Winner

Ocean Adventure Together!

LAMI's Ocean Adventure Together Program breaks barriers that keep some from enjoying our coasts and ocean. Parents and invited middle school-aged participants share in a day of ocean fun and learn how anyone can enjoy safe water-based activities and life aboard a sailing tall ship. The young participants then set sail to discover the exciting and life-changing experience of a 5-day and night summer voyage at sea. Parents join their kids on the last voyage day to witness and share in their children’s new skills and positive transformation.


Has your proposal changed due to COVID-19?

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) has always made the safety of program participants, volunteers, and staff our top priority, with an elevated commitment during the COVID-19 outbreak. LAMI follows all local, state, and federal guidelines and mandates to determine when and how LAMI offers its programs. LAMI adopted even more rigorous safety policies and procedures to ensure all of our ships and learning environments are safe places to enjoy.

LAMI’s Ocean Adventure Together Program launches in July 2020, at which time we are hopeful some level of gathering will be allowed. If gathering is permitted, LAMI will follow capacity guidelines and, if necessary, reduce the number of participants per activity and increase the number and frequency of events and voyages offered. The Program is well-positioned if restrictions allow outdoor gathering, with LAMI able to deliver the intended positive outcomes with only modest adjustments, such as replacing the overnighting voyage with a series of top-deck day sails. Since the onset of the ‘stay-at-home’ orders, LAMI has become extremely proficient at providing virtual program experiences and instruction, offering free Virtual Voyage online multimedia content and live lessons. If ‘stay-at-home’ orders persist into the start of the Program, we are committed to using this expertise to create enjoyable, immersive, and educational virtual adaptations of engagement plans, and suspending in-person activities until it is safe to do so.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

East LA

South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Barriers exist that impede the equable enjoyment of our coasts and ocean. For underrepresented and underserved youth, these barriers can be socially, economically, psychologically, and geographically based. A young person’s ability to access the coast is significantly impacted by cost and how far they live from it. Less obvious but equally impactful barriers are a parent’s awareness and attitude toward recreational activities on the coast. In underrepresented and underserved communities, parental knowledge of water-based activities can be limited, translating to significant psychological and social barriers for children. Parents in these demographics tend to be more accustomed to higher levels of risk and lower qualities and availability of resources, and therefore take a more substantial role in “bridging” their child’s extracurricular activities. Therefore, parents are more apprehensive about trying a new activity or one that includes an unfamiliar environment.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

For 28 years, LAMI has been providing safe at-sea experiential education programs to underserved young people. The 'hands-on' active learning, self-discovery, and connection to nature that occur through the challenge of sailing a tall ship and the joy of playing in and on the ocean are profound. LAMI crew are trained educators and experts in sailing and water safety and skilled at working with all levels of comfort and abilities when it comes to time at sea. The foundation of LAMI's mission is to provide underserved young people access to the empowering and life-changing benefits, the increased situational and self-awareness, and the importance of environmental stewardship that comes from at and in the sea experiences.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 120

Indirect Impact: 1,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

LAMI believes an individual’s and, arguably, a society’s authentic and successful stewardship of the natural environment is rooted in the progression from enjoyment, then connection, followed by awareness and concern, resulting in a deeply felt and acted upon care for our natural world. Therefore, the first step is introducing people at an early age to the simple but profound enjoyment that is sparked by recreating in nature. The students’ appreciation for and knowledge of our natural world and their competency in it will be shared with parents, schools, and communities in follow-up engagement opportunities, spreading the knowledge and importance of equitable coastal access and recreation.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

LAMI’s Ocean Adventure Together Program will allow people who do not have equal access to the ocean and coast– due to social, economic, and geographical barriers– an opportunity for the joy and personal growth that results from experiencing time in and on the sea. Success will also be confirmed by participant’s elevated awareness of the accessibility of the coastal natural resources, their comfort levels with on and in the water activities, their confidence in themselves, and their awareness and concern for our coast and ocean environments. Changes of participant, parent, and community perceptions and knowledge will be measured through before and after program participation surveys.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your submission impact?​

Youth sports participation

Access to open space and park facilities

Parks with intergenerational play opportunities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation