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History & Mission 2017-08-07T20:58:41+00:00

Call of the Sea is an educational nonprofit with the mission to inspire youth to unleash their potential through experiential, environmental education under sail. Our vision is to empower generations of students to become environmental stewards and transform their world through sailing.

Call of the Sea (COTS)  is a 501(c)(3) and was founded in 1985 by Alan Olson and a group of local sailors to provide Bay Area youth an opportunity to sail traditional tall ships, investigate the local marine environment, connect to the Bay’s rich maritime history, and inspire them to be stewards of the sea and earth.

In 2004, COTS merged with a group headed by Ken Neal and in 2007 acquired the schooner Seaward. The Executive Directorship was turned over to Charles Hart in 2011. In the past ten years, Seaward has served over 60,000+ students, and now sails with an average of 5,000+ students a year.

In January 2015, COTS merged with Educational Tall Ship Inc. (ETS), the organization Alan Olson created to build the Matthew Turner in Sausalito. Through the community-driven construction of the 132 foot tall ship Matthew Turner, Call of the Sea continues to cultivate the maritime tradition of the San Francisco Bay Area by engaging people with their local waters.

COTS also merged with the Golden Gate Tall Ship Society (founded in 1985) shortly after the merger with ETS. This non-profit organization was dedicated to raising on-board scholarship funds for students and bringing awareness of tall ships to the Bay Area.

Call of the Sea currently offers marine environmental educational programs to bay area youth onboard Seaward. Once completed, Matthew Turner will provide additional opportunities for students of all ages to learn from our unique, out-of-the-classroom sailing platform in 2018.