School Programs


The Center for Coastal Studies conducts educational activities and provides educational resources that encourage the responsible use and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. CCS scientific expertise ranges from marine mammals, including whales, seals and their habitats, to geology and land-sea interactions, to water quality monitoring and habitat restoration. The CCS education program seeks to work with local and visiting schools on developing meaningful watershed experiences for a variety of age groups.

Story of Spinnaker
Spinnaker is the Center’s new thirty-six foot humpback skeleton installed in 2017.  Spinnaker was an eleven year-old humpback, known to the Center since she was a calf, who tragically died after suffering many fishing gear entanglements through her short life.  Hear this story as you marvel at the only large whale skeleton on Cape Cod and the only whale skeleton in the world with the entanglement that led to her death still lodged in her bones.  This program is suitable for students grade 5-12, and tells the important message of long-term scientific studies, and conservation efforts, as well as serious threats marine animals still face today.  1 hr.

Meet Delilah
Step inside Delilah, an inflatable, life-sized North Atlantic Right Whale, and learn all about these rare and amazing animals. This 1 hr program is appropriate for all grade levels and is a great introduction before a whale watch.

Whale Field Walks
Cape Cod is arguably one of the finest spots on earth to view cetaceans from land. Critically endangered North Atlantic right whales come to Cape Cod Bay each winter to feed, while in late spring and early summer, humpback, fin and minke whales arrive. If you don’t have time or weather is not conducive for a boat based whale watch, CCS staff will lead guided walks to watch for whales as they feed in the surrounding waters, often only a few hundred feet from shore. 1 -1 1/2 hr.

Seal Walks
A number of different species of seals occupy New England waters. Harbor and gray seals are often sighted throughout the year in the water and resting on local beaches in large groups or herds. CCS is leading an effort on Cape Cod to identify and create a picture of local seal population movements and behavior. CCS will offer led seal walks for groups, to seal haul out sights located on the outer beaches of Cape Cod. 1 -1 1/2 hr.

Tidal Flat Exploration
Every twelve hours, the tides of the Outer Cape retreat to reveal an exciting world of hidden creatures. Despite their barren appearance, tidal flats are highly productive systems that support large numbers of animals. Come get your feet wet and discover the secret world of tidal flats with a CCS naturalist. 1 -1 1/2 hr.

Pre-Whale Watch Lecture
CCS has been studying whales around Cape Cod for 36 years. Learn about what we know, and don’t know about these magnificent animals and behavior that you might see on your whale watch. 1 hr.

Marine Animal Disentanglement Lecture
CCS was also the first organization in the world to disentangle a large whale caught in fishing gear. Learn about our disentanglement program and how CCS has saved over 150 large whales and over 60 turtles from entanglements since 1984. 1 hr.

Water Quality Testing
Hands-on activity using water quality monitoring equipment to measure different abiotic factors of the marine environment including: temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity. Students will be able to test and record their information, while taking observations at the field site. 1 -1 1/2 h

Service Project Beach Cleanup
Join CCS for a beach cleanup at local area beaches. Marine debris is a serious problem facing our oceans and coasts. It degrades coastal and marine vistas, harms wildlife, introduces toxins and chemicals into our water, destroys habitats and can directly affect human health. Program includes a few games to understand the issue of marine debris. 1 -1 1/2 h

For more information, to schedule a field experience and/or to begin development of an in-class program, please contact:

Jesse Mechling
Marine Education Director
[email protected]
508-487-3623 x 114

Contact Us

Entanglement Hotline: (800) 900-3622
[email protected]
(508) 487-3622
5 Holway Avenue
Provincetown, MA 02657
(508) 487-3623

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