Año Nuevo Marine Education Center


Official "kelp-cutting" ceremony 

After many years of planning and hard work the new Marine Education Center at Año Nuevo State Reserve officially opened to the public on June 3, 2008 with the help of more than 100 guests, including state and local officials, school children, and an impressive "kelp-cutting."

CSPF, State Parks, and the San Mateo Coast Natural History Museum raised more than $3 million from a variety of key donors. "We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to work with our partners and a host of private donors, including Steve Blank and his wife Alison Elliott, to make this area accessible to tens of thousands of visitors each year," said Elizabeth Goldstein, CSPF President. Steve Blank, a Commissioner of the California Coastal Commission, a neighbor of the reserve and donor, combined his strategic vision with Supervising Ranger Gary Strachan's deep knowledge and lifelong association with Año Nuevo to make this a reality. They also ensured that the project evolved into a unique example of a public/private partnership that will have lasting implications for the future of grant-making and state conservation efforts.


Exploring the new exhibits 

The center is the first educational and training facility of its kind along the San Mateo Coast and is housed within three nationally recognized historic structures from the Steele Dairy Ranch, dating back to 1861. The goal of the new facility is to bring Año Nuevo's rich cultural and natural history alive, and encourage visitors to learn both in the center and while exploring the reserve. Año Nuevo is one of the most visited of our state parks, with more than 200,000 annual visitors, including 25,000 school children.

The new facility provides space for interpretive exhibits and presentations as well as expanded educational facilities. More than 7,400 feet of floor space was added or modified to accommodate the reserve's growing popularity. New classroom space will allow for science-based, hands-on lessons. With the use of a new webcam system, previously inaccessible portions of the reserve–such as Año Nuevo Island–can be explored from inside the center.