"Learning isn't my favorite thing to do in the whole world, but at Camp K.E.E.P I fell in love with it!" Destinie G.
The KEEP Environment and Program:
During their stay at KEEP Ocean students will have the opportunity to experience one of the more spectacular coastlines of the central California coast.
Montana de Oro and Morro Bay State Parks combine to provide a wide variety of natural habitats for science exploration.
As students climb the coastal mountains through the chaparral ecosystem they will study geology and plant adaptations.
Many reptiles, birds, and mammals are regularly seen in the chaparral. Climbing to the top of these mountains and seeing the spectaular views
of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline stretching below them gives the students a sense of accomplishment not felt in traditional educational settings.
The shifting sands of the sand dune community provide a dynamic landscape overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Here students can study the unique flora and fauna that is adapted to this ‘semi-desert’ area.
The walk also affords the students a chance to explore some of the beaches, tidepools and rocky shorelines of the state park.
The riparian (or streamside) ecosystem provides a cool, moist environment to compare and contrast with the drier habitats of the uplands.
Under the shade of the willow trees the babble of the creek serves as a backdrop for lessons about the riparian ecosystem and the history of the
Native Americans (Chumash) who depended on this vital source of water.
The nearby rocky intertidal zones the students will visit are some of the richest along the California coast.
It is an ecosystem incomparable in it's diversity of species ranging from birds, seals and whales to the smallest invertebrates like sea stars,
nudibranchs and octopus. The coastline near KEEP is a living labratory ripe for exploration of how plants and animals can adapt to
this wave washed coast.
At Morro Bay, students will spend the entire day learning about the natural history, geology and economic importance of estuaries.
Waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors share this habitat with sea lions, sea otters and fish. Students will conduct field studies of the
estuary by examining plankton, observing underwater habitats and exploring the salt marsh and mudflats. The wide variety of
vertebrates and invertebrates observed in these habitats help give meaning to the concepts of food webs and interdependence.
At KEEP Ocean we are guests and visitors to State Parks. Every effort is made to minimize our impact on the habitats we visit while
maximizing our enjoyment and learning. But above all, KEEP Ocean is for kids!