Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies

Address: 5 Holway Ave, Provincetown, MA 02657
Contact: Jesse Mechling
Phone: 508-487-3623 x103

Mission: The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies sits at the end of the land and the beginning of the sea. Our vantage point, at the tip of Cape Cod, allows us to work in the midst of an extraordinary ecosystem where all things converge. It is the place where the temperate zone and the sub-boreal zone meet, where the sandy shore knows its northernmost reach and the rocky shore is about to begin. The explosion of upwelling nutrients just offshore and the convergence of many habitats means an explosion of wildlife as well, a home to feed and breed for shorebirds and turtles, whales and dolphins, seals and ground fish, sponges and periwinkles, sea urchins and sand dollars.

Ocean Literacy:

Principle 1: The Earth has one big ocean with many features
Our education program for kids discusses the idea of one big ocean with many features. This is a program that I run during the summer, and during school vacations.

Principle 2: The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth
Our habitat program discusses this issue. Also, education lectures for adults and in-school programming for kids aligns with OLP 2.

Principle 3: The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate
We do very little with OLP 3. We do have a land/sea program that looks at the effects of climate change on coasts, but nothing directly linking climate and weather. However, during our education programming, we do address climate change and the oceans.

Principle 4: The ocean makes Earth habitable
We do not do much with OLP 4, but again our education programming touches on this issue.

Principle 5: The ocean supports a diversity of life and ecosystems.
Our whale and habitat research programs speak to OLP 5. We have been conducting whale and habitat research for over 3 decades and much of our work talks about the diversity of life and ecosystems in the oceans. Of course, we do focus more on NE waters and other parts of the globe. Again our education programs talk about ocean diversity through lectures and school programming.

Principle 6: The ocean is connected to us and we are connected to it.
All our programs, water quality, whale research, habitat, education and marine animal disentanglement all align with OLP 6. While it is up to education to most directly interact with the public, our marine animal disentanglement team does perform outreach, and of course that issue is certainly shows the interconnectedness of the oceans and humans. Education also does programming on marine debris, again showing the connectedness.

Principle 7: The ocean is largely unexplored.
Again mostly through our education department during presentations and school programs.

Ocean Observing:

Our education program utilizes satellite data for presentations to the public and for in-school programming. We use temperature, chlorophyll and current data. Our water quality program uses ocean observing data, as well as our habitat program. We use weather data frequently.