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By Daniel Ritz

After receiving a California Cultural and Historical Endowment grant, the Ocean Institute recently launched a campaign to raise funds to match that grant in order for the Spirit of Dana Point to receive a new engine. Generally, grants such as these are offered to capital investment projects.

The engine currently in the Spirit is an antiquated diesel engine, and the Ocean Institute aims to update to a more environmental engine that keeps with the Ocean Institute’s goal of environmental sustainability while also maintaining structural authenticity of the Spirit.

“This new engine will reduce emissions by over 80 percent and meet all current Environmental Protection Agency standards,” said Dan Goldbacher, director of maritime programs at the Ocean Institute.

Goldbacher said the Ocean Institute hopes to raise funds to match the $68,765 dollars grant by Sept. 1.

“The Spirit of Dana Point takes more than 5,600 students onboard every year for educational programs,” Goldbacher shared. “We want to be able to continue that mission on this ship, originally built within Orange County.”

The Ocean Institute is calling upon the public and those that support the Spirit’s mission to raise funds for this vital upgrade. Those interested can reach out to Goldbacher personally at

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