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Shawn Raymundo, Dana Point Times

The Ocean Institute has reopened its doors to the public after receiving a $12,500 grant from Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), the local education center announced on Thursday, Oct. 15.

According to Ocean Institute, the grant will be used to bring back essential staff for a safe reopening on the weekends through the rest of the year, allowing the center to continue offering visitors programs in marine science and history.

“We are so very thankful to SoCalGas for supporting our efforts to fulfill our mission through our public programs,” Ocean Institute President and CEO Wendy Marshall said in a press release. “We have been closed for nearly seven months, and our talented staff is delighted to welcome back visitors.”

Jill Tracy, a member of the Ocean Institute’s Board of Directors and assistant general counsel at SoCalGas, says that organizations such as Ocean Institute offer education benefits to children and families, as well as help kids learn and discover interests in marine science and maritime history.

“SoCalGas is thrilled to be able to support the reopening of the Ocean Institute and provide a safe and educational place for kids and families to enjoy on weekends,” Tracy said in the release.

SoCalGas has been a corporate partner with the center and nonprofit for the past 16 years, the release explained, adding that in 2019, the utility company donated more than $7.6 million to community organizations, local nonprofits and other groups.

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