Preserving the Past by Educating the Future

Crystal Cove Historic District holds a special place in the hearts of its visitors.  Whether it be a marriage proposal, a first visit to the beach, a magical sunset, or a cherished memory; it is a special setting, a vessel to another time.  Soon, even more underserved students from around Southern California will have the opportunity to fall in love with the beauty and history of Crystal Cove while immersing themselves in an innovative outdoor classroom with the launch of Crystal Cove Alliance’s newest educational efforts. 

As part of the North Beach cottage restoration, Crystal Cove Alliance and Crystal Cove State Park are partnering with the University of California, Irvine’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to create a new Coastal Engineering Education Program.  This exciting new program will transform the cottages from a place to stay into an outdoor classroom, where underserved students can deepen their understanding of coastal engineering and changing coastal systems. 

“Our mission is to educate the next generation,” Alix Hobbs, CCA CEO and President said. “Once the restoration is completed, we will implement an engineer program to teach students how to make environmental decisions to further the legacy that we are creating today.”

When the new coastal engineering program launches, students will be immersed in measuring and analyzing how Crystal Cove’s coast changes over time.  They will use drones to map the sea floor off of the Historic District, track wave patterns from kayaks, and explore strategies to deal with climate change and sea level rise.

To realize this vision, $1 million of Coastal Commission mitigation funding has been allocated to start an educational endowment, which will support the development and operation of this unique education program.  Coastal engineering programs will be piloted with students over the next few years.  Once North Beach cottage restoration is complete, the program will expand to include an overnight component within Cottage #20, which will be reserved for endowment-supported educational programs for up to 36 nights per year.  

Crystal Cove State Park, Crystal Cove Alliance, and the University of California, Irvine are excited to begin implementing this inspiring program, with the hopes that students will forge a deeper connection to our coastline, and cultivate a passion for science and engineering. 

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