Our Efforts

The following list highlights some of the efforts we make to minimize the impacts of our program’s operations on Catalina and the earth.


Each arriving group receives a thorough orientation into our camp conservation guidelines. From the recycling of food scraps to reducing water usage, we aim to educate our guests about responsible resource use through active participation in our conservation initiatives.

Composting and Organic Gardening

Our composting program successfully diverts thousands of pounds of food waste from entering the island landfill each year. This process helps lighten the impact our camp has on the island, while demonstrating how “waste” can be transformed into a resource. The nutrient-rich compost is sifted, sterilized in solar ovens and integrated into the soil of our garden beds. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used and the principles of permaculture are embraced. Techniques such as companion planting, trellising, mulching, and vermicomposting are practiced. Our garden is built from salvaged and re-used materials, making it both unique and sustainable.


We ask that all guests become active participants in the island’s recycling program by disposing of their waste into the appropriately marked receptacles. We put research and care into the purchasing, use, and recycling of our program supplies and equipment. We are happy to announce that our old wetsuits and fins are now being recycled!

Ecological Restoration

We are working with volunteer groups and the Catalina Island Conservancy to restore Catalina’s native and endemic vegetation. Projects include invasive plant removal, responsible trail building, and the planting of native and endemic plants.

Trail Ethics

Strict trail etiquette is taught and enforced while hiking in and around our cove. “Leave no trace” ethics are implemented to allow for exploration of the terrestrial environment without degradation of it. Hikers are permitted to tread only on designated trails to minimize erosion and the trampling of flora and fauna. No flowers, plants, rocks or souvenirs may be picked or removed, though students are encouraged to pick up litter while hiking.

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