Trip to Catalina Island brings feelings of worry, excitement


AP Biology trip to Catalina brings excitement and worries about COVID, weather, and the oil spill off the coast of California.

AP Biology students have the opportunity to go to Catalina to experience interactive biology through different labs that involve Catalina’s ecosystem. The trip includes different lab stations, hiking, and three different snorkeling trips. With the travel restrictions of COVID last year, the trip was canceled but students who were planning on going on the trip last year still have the opportunity to experience the trip with current students. This year brings a whole new set of concerns with an oil spill off the coast of California and colder October weather. 

On Oct. 2nd in Orange County, an oil pipeline broke in the water from a ship’s anchor causing 50 barrels of oil  to leak into the ocean. Orange County is only located 41 miles away from Catalina, so there became uncertainties on whether students would be able to participate in the traditional snorkeling or other water activities. But after talking to Jerry Bell, the AP Biology teacher in charge of the trip, he says that the water activities are still happening according to the most current advisories. “I have been in communication with people at Catalina, and I have not heard anything from them,” said Bell.

Sophomore Katie Mascari is concerned about the spill and how it will affect the trip. “… we are going snorkeling, so it’s kinda like it is still happening,” said Mascari. But as of right now the oil spill is not going to affect their activities. 

The trip is usually scheduled at the end of Sep. and the beginning of Oct. however due to fall break this year, the trip got pushed back. With the trip now being at the end of Oct., it means there will be much colder weather on the island. Junior Serena Arengh’s only concern for the trip is the weather. “The only concern for me is the weather, because it might be too cold,” said Arengh. But according to Bell the weather is nicer in October because of the warmer ocean temperatures. ” …the ocean is warmer in October…” said Bell. 

With the trip being at the end of October, it landed on homecoming weekend, meaning students on the trip will miss the homecoming dance. “[I’m] not happy about it. It was something they told us after we signed up, but I feel like this is more worth it, and I can go to homecoming next year” said Mascari about missing her first homecoming.

“Most of my friends are going on the trip with me,” said Arengh. Arengh also expressed that she did not have bad feelings about missing the dance. 

Despite some of the concerns that are involved around the trip, both students and Bell are not worried and are excited. “[I’m] very excited; I can’t wait,” said Arengh. “I am excited, everyone that is going is excited to go, we’re all going to go and have fun” said Bell.