(805) 729-0442

Operations address:

3897 Market St. Suites 101 & 102

Ventura, CA, 93003, USA

Administrative address:

1501 Cardigan Ave. Ventura CA 93004

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MERITO stands for Multicultural Education for Resources Issues Threatening Oceans

Here at MERITO Foundation, we are committed to protecting the ocean by facilitating education, conservation, and scientific research opportunities to multicultural youth and their communities.

The MERITO Foundation is being recognized with the Community Foundation Award at the Water: Take 1 Film Festival

The award honors the Foundation's effort to build ocean stewardship and environmental literacy among local youth. Through a partnership between the MERITO Foundation and Ventura Water, over 1,500 students from Ventura schools have visited the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility since 2017. During field experiences, students learn about the importance of conserving water in our region, how our water distribution system works, and how to reduce urban runoff pollution.

The award will be presented during the Water: Take 1 Film Festival organized by Ventura WaterThe film festival is a free, public event featuring short films that showcase critical water issues and community efforts in water conservation.

This event was postponed. Check back soon for a new date!

Our Vision

Our vision is a healthy ocean cared by diverse coastal communities who live in an environmentally responsible manner regardless of native language, economic status, cultural beliefs, or ethnic background because we all share one ocean.

Our Mission

Our Mission is ocean protection through education, conservation, citizen science, and to inspire the next generation of environmental professionals.


Educators Trained


4th-12th grade students immersed in ocean and climate education


Project proposals authored by students to reduce their school carbon footprint 


Students sponsored education trips to Channel Islands


Hands on conservation and/or citizen science field experiences


Disbursed as cash and in kind prizes to students authors of best projects

How We Do It 

Ocean and Climate

Education Programs

Bilingual Outreach

Conservation and Citizen Science

International Citizen Science

Teacher's Training Workshops

Services Tailored for Schools

"The MERITO Academy was an inspirational experience for my students and I when I taught 5th grade level. Without the program, my students would not otherwise have gotten access to such a high quality of science instruction."

Teresa (Terry) Ellingson

Our Latest News

Students' Innovation in Action!
EECCOA Project Implementation Updat

We are excited to announce that an energy conservation project proposed by students in Ms. Mendez's class at Anacapa Middle School has been implemented as a part of Ventura Unified School District's on-going commitment to sustainability.  During the 2018-19 school year, students in Ms. Mendez’s class who were participating in the EECCOA Challenge 2019, calculated potential electricity savings by installing sensors for the classrooms that automatically shut off the lights when not in use. Great minds think alike because Ventura Unified School District Facilities Maintenance staff were set to install a similar device over the summer.  Students returned to class this fall excited to see their project had been implemented! 

EECCOA Challenge 2019 1st Place winners "Bottles for Profit," from Jonata Middle School in Buellton are excited to be implementing their project this year. Students identified a business opportunity that would reduce the number of plastic bottles ending up in the trash and collected funds to support the project last June before moving on to high school. This school year, a new group of students has taken the project on at their school by purchasing containers so they can collect and recycle bottles. The students said that one of their main motivations was when they learned about microplastics in the ocean while participating in the MERITO Foundation’s programs. The funds collected will be used to buy science supplies, explained to their teacher, Marie Chavez.

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