Created in 2012 through a Crystal Awards grant provided by the Boeing Company’s Employees Community Fund (ECF), the Youth Leadership in Environmental Action Program (YLEAP) is designed to engage students aged 13-17 in environmental stewardship and community involvement. YLEAP aims to cultivate youth leaders and environmental advocates by providing them with knowledge and skills that help them to motivate and inspire themselves and others to protect, restore, and preserve vital coastal ecosystems like the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve for years to come. Since the program’s inception, many young leaders have collectively worked over 500 hours for the Conservancy’s programs.

YLEAP is a year-long program consisting of both hands-on instruction and job shadowing supported by Conservancy staff, interns, and long-term volunteers. During the week-long instructional segment, participants will gain knowledge in wetland and watershed science and ecology, marine habitats, environmental conservation and community stewardship through Conservancy-led instruction and field trips. Once participants complete the instructional aspect of the program, they will have the opportunity to shadow Conservancy staff/leadership, intern, and volunteer naturalists during a variety of events including educational programs, restoration events, event management, and public outreach, and will eventually transition to a volunteer naturalist when the year concludes.

To participate, students must complete an application form, write a one-page essay on a given prompt, and submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher, school administrator, or community leader. The suggested donation for YLEAP is $325.* Applications must be received by mail or email no later than Monday, July 25th at 4pm.

Junior Summer Wetland Explorers Program (27 June – 01 July 2022)

Kick off the summer season with a week of science and fun in the sun! Junior Wetland Explorers will learn about habitats, wetlands, watersheds, ecosystem components, food webs, and recycling through guided hikes of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, hands-on science labs, STEM-based activities and crafts, and supplemental education videos. Every day brings new discoveries on the trail, and Junior Wetland Explorers will record all their findings in their wetland science journal.

Please note that Wednesday (29 June) will be partially spent at the Bolsa Chica State Beach, where Junior Wetland Explorers will learn about the wetland’s neighboring habitat – the ocean. Make sure to bring a towel and change of clothes.

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