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MERITO Foundation

Education & Training|Environmental Education

5.0 | Closed


Not for profit organization dedicated to protecting our ocean and coast by educating multicultural youth and their communities, engaging them in nature conservation, citizen science, and environmental entrepreneurship. After exposure to our projects or programs, young or adult students become environmental stewards and often activists

We work with schools, resource protection agencies, and environmentally-minded businesses in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Services for economically disadvantaged youth and communities are available upon availability. We accept donations, grants, contracts and in-kind support from individuals and organizations that care about the environment and our region's youth.

Why We're Green

The MERITO Foundation incorporates sustainability into our core business operations through internal and external efforts. Specifically, during our operations we adopt the following policies and practices:

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose
2. Purchase environmentally preferable products such as recycled paper, compostable utensils and non-toxic science supplies
3. Conserve energy, water and natural resources
4. Practice green business policies also when out in the field conducting field research or instructing students
5. Most of our staff drive Hybrid cars and often carpool to field experiences
6. Staff are allowed to telework 1/8-1/4 of monthly labor time


‘Every child has a right to equal and quality education, but the reality is that children in inner-city schools often miss out not only on science but on the enrichment opportunities that can accompany it. The MERITO Program gave my students the opportunity to have access to a world-class science program complete with visiting scientists, science equipment, and field trips; it has given my students an awareness of the environment and how their actions affect the ocean. It has provided my students, many of who had never even visited the beach five miles away from them, the opportunity to visit the islands and revel in the beauty of the marine sanctuary that had previously been so close, yet so far away from them.’

Nancy Buenrostro
4th-5th grade teacher
Oxnard Unified School District (2005-2020)

'The strength of the MERITO program, however, is that in-class lessons and guest speakers support the inspiring field trips. This exploration opens doors for students, and encourages them to view their community and their role in it in a new way.

After learning about water quality issues in the community, marine mammals and shorebirds, many students express an interest in going on to pursue science-related internships, education, and careers. After meeting people who work in these fields, these careers seem obtainable and appealing to students. MERITO has not only helped develop student motivation and engagement but has also given students an opportunity to envision new, positive possibilities for their futures.’

Laura Toddis
Environmental Science Teacher
Teacher of 2013 for Ventura County Office of Education and Amgen Foundation
Sierra Continuation High


Contact Us

(805) 729-0442

3897 Market St. Suites 101 & 102, Ventura, California

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9:30 AM - 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 4:30 PM


9:30 AM - 4:30 PM