Delta Discovery Voyage - Grades 5 and up



     The Marine Science Institute is proud to offer Discovery Voyages in the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta. These voyages will provide your students with a better understanding of this vital freshwater ecosystem and how they can become stewards of the Delta. Below you will find a link in which you can download a .pdf version of this year's teacher packet. Please be sure to download and read through the packet (It is formatted to print doublesided for your convenience). You will also find a link to the student Water Patrol workbook and relevant background information.



AT A GLANCE  -  Delta Discovery Voyage 2014


Marine Science Institute Website: Email Karen Peluso, Ship Program Manager, at with questions, or call 650-364-2760 x 15

R/V Robert G. Brownlee (the ship) Cell Phone: 650-455-8113.

Contra Costa Water District Website: A slideshow describing the voyage is located in the education section of CCWD website. Email Deborah Harris, Senior Administrative Assistant, at, or call 925-229-7116.



Trips are a full 3.5 hours long and run from 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, and from 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM.
Please arrive 30 minutes before departure to use land bathrooms, check-in etc.
Please call the boat cell (650-455-8113) if you are going to be late.
There are four total groups and stations. If you are sharing with another class, communicate with the other teacher to divide all students into four even groups.
Chaperones/ Adults (teachers included): at least 4, optimal 8, no more than 12 please. (per voyage, not per class)
Total number of students per voyage: no more than 70.

Life vests are required and will be provided upon boarding the R/V Robert G. Brownlee.
There is NO SMOKING aboard the ship.




- Update your manifest list (present students and adults with emergency numbers). Cross off absent individuals. Bring updated manifest with you to the marina.
- Warm clothes and many layers. Best to wear old clothes that can get muddy and wet. Hats that won’t blow off. Sunscreen. Gloves. Rain jackets or ponchos are extremely smart. No umbrellas.
- Closed-toed, closed heeled sneakers on everyone. No sandals.
- Nametags are helpful – affix nametags to students’ upper arms.
- You can bring a non-messy, non-crumbly snack such as granola bar/ fruit roll up. Wrappers, littering, and crumbs left behind are not tolerated.
- Do the drivers know how to get to the Marina? One Marina Plaza, Antioch, CA 94509.
- Do you know when your busses are coming and going? Are you sharing?
- Where are you eating lunch? What will you do if it is raining?




Have students acknowledged the financial sponsor? Thank-you letters are not only courteous, but also help ensure future sponsorship for the program. You will receive an envelope as you depart the ship, among other items, it will contain the name of your class’s primary sponsor. In addition to letters, many classes do sponsor thank-yous in the form of artwork or poetry. Send your letters to MSI at 500 Discovery Parkway, Redwood City, CA, 94063. MSI will deliver the letters to your sponsor. They deserve your gratitude!

If your submissions are artwork, your class can participate in MSI’s Translating the Tides contest! Winners receive a family membership to MSI, and are published in an annual calendar.  Their school also receives a gift certificate for MSI. See the MSI website for more information on the contest.



Introduction: After life vests are put on, students and adults listen to a short introduction and safety talk. Once completed, students will divide into four cooperative learning groups and rotate through four, 35 to 40 minute stations
Ichthyology Station: The first and third groups will perform a fish trawl. Students will: use a pictorial fish key to identify fish species, learn about anatomy and life history of local fish species, and interact with and touch fish.
Plankton Station: Students will: perform a plankton tow to obtain a sample from the Delta, discuss the importance of plankton to the environment, and view the sample which is routed through a microscope onto a TV.
Benthic Station: Students will: perform a mud grab, inspect mud sample, learn about non-native and native invertebrates, and discuss human impact on Delta geography.
Hydrology Station: Students will: discuss stewardship, household hazardous waste disposal, local drinking water sources, recycled water, conservation of resources, and more.
Closing Activity: Trivia, review, emphasis on conservation and stewardship activities will tie the learning objectives together.

An on-line slide show describing the voyage with photos of children engaged at all of the stations can be found at 




Contra Costa Water District:
Marine Science Institute:
Central Contra Costa Sanitation District:
Delta Diablo Sanitation District:
Mt. View Sanitary District:

Dow Chemical Company

Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation


Questions and booking information

Contact Jodi Stewart

Schools Programs Coordinator