Chart a Course. Observe. Make Adjustments. Discover.
King Harbor Boating Foundation was formed in late 2012 by members of King Harbor Yacht Club to organize and assist with two large community events - the annual Sea Fair and Holiday Boat parade. Creating enriching programs to educate the community about coastal access, safe boating practices and ocean conservation were top priorities for the organization’s future. Our first year was a busy one as we began defining ourselves within the harbor community, building our brand, and creating our board and advisory council.
In 2014 the foundation for our educational efforts began to take shape. We crafted the vision, defined our core values, identified educational partners and reviewed curriculum. Sailing and exploring on stand up paddle boards (SUP) were our first classes. As we worked with our initial students, just a dozen in the beginning, our focus began to shift from a recreational water experience to one more rich in education and conservation. We embraced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) emerging as an ocean adventure education organization. We adopted US Sailing’s REACH curriculum, developed additional regionalized lessons and created our current STEM Sailing class. We sought out experienced local educators to help guide our ocean education efforts and began utilizing naturalists as teachers for our Ocean Exploration class.
We experienced tremendous growth in 2015 and our board felt that we needed to re-brand ourselves to reflect the realities of our educational activities. We established our dba Waterfront Education and #WEgoH2O. We started working with homeschool families and served 125 students. We became a vendor for 5 charter schools offering ocean science enrichment programs. One of our highlights for the year was when the boat decorated by the Marine Engineering and Innovation class won the coveted “Sweepstakes” trophy for best overall Holiday Boat Parade entry. In addition, our parade entry was able to include non-boat owning community members who had not been able to participate out on the water in the past.
In 2016 we continued to grow and add classes along with discovery leaders. Suggestions from our families have helped shape our curriculum. In November we officially moved into our Marine Innovation Hub located at SEA Lab. We participated in the boat parade and were thrilled when our entry "Atlantis Salutes the Red, White and Blue" won the "Sweepstakes" trophy for a second year in a row.
Today we continue to expand our classes and the diversity of the students that we serve. In 2017 our primary goal is to establish a solid scholarship program and extend our educational reach beyond our local beach community. In addition, we are growing our volunteer groups - the Splash Squad (over 21) and the Tidepool Team (under 21) to assist with fundraising efforts and to help with our events. This year promises to be one of continued growth and expansion.