FLOW Club visits Pacific Marine Mammal Center to partner with Healing Seals


Jun Shen

FLOW Club members visit the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. They focus on helping keep our community clean and environmentally friendly.

Magdalene Yen and Brooke Lattin

Fifteen members of the FLOW (Fire, Land, Ocean, Water) Club visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in the Canyon on Oct. 11 to complete a service project for the Healing Seals foundation. Healing Seal partners with 12 hospitals around the country for patients to receive activity boxes. The students built “ocean discovery kits” for children’s hospitals. The boxes include an activity book, PMMC patient trading cards, marine mammal socks, a plush sea lion and other great tools for educating and fostering a love for our oceans and the incredible creatures who call it home. 

“We partnered with Healing Seals because what we do on land eventually impacts the ocean, whether it be plastic waste, industrial pollution or overfishing,” said FLOW Coordinator and LBHS teacher Jun Shen. “We feel that we have to take care of the animals that get impacted by it.”

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) is the first-ever marine mammal rehabilitation facility in California. Established prior to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the PMMC actively works to save the sea mammals’ populations from diminishing to the point where they are no longer significant functioning pieces of their ecosystems. 

“PMMC’s mission to protect marine mammal life from our local beaches fits perfectly with our goals with FLOW. We want students not only to be able to learn about Laguna Beach’s natural beauty but also to act and serve to protect it,” said LBHS FLOW Coordinator and English Teacher Sarah Benson.  

Being a student-led club is one of FLOW’s notable characteristics. Claire Anderson, a senior at LBHS and the president of the FLOW club, will be taking charge with planning more service opportunities for the club and its members.

“My goal for the FLOW club is to educate LBHS students to be more environmentally conscious while also improving the environment in our community and also the school,” said Anderson.

FLOW club is a great way for students to be connected to the environment and expand their knowledge and love for the land around Laguna Beach. 

Leading up to last school year, Benson partnered with fellow English teacher Dave Brobeck to establish the foundation for FLOW. As a result of ongoing collaboration among the teachers across all disciplines at LBHS, students not involved directly with FLOW Club all have opportunities to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship through the curriculum in their various courses.

“Above all else, Mr. Brobeck and I wanted students to have a deeper understanding of their hometown, its natural beauty, and what we can do to help preserve it,” said Benson.