Active Learning

Topsail Island, North Carolina


SumMer 2017 Classes

Here at EMA we believe that hands-on learning is the best kind of learning! We offer classes for kids ages 4-7 and ages 8-12. Our summer program consists of a variety of shorter (1 day or 3 day) programs and are designed to be fun and encourage children to explore the outdoors. We strive to ignite children's natural curiosity about the world around them while providing them with the knowledge and tools to preserve, protect, and enjoy our environment! 

Click to learn more about our field trips and classroom programs!


Multi Day Classes $130

Our multi-day classes meet three times (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Each class will provide an in-depth exploration of our unique marine environment. Children will have the opportunity to explore the outdoors and learn about our incredible ocean through experiments, specimen collection and other hands-on activities. 


Single Day Classes $45

Our single day classes are three hours long and are great for vacationing and local kids who want to explore our marine world. Children will have the opportunity to learn about a unique animal group from the marine world through experiments, specimen collection and other hands-on activities. 


Special Classes $0-$80

Our special classes are designed to get kids outside and encourage them to try new things. These classes include everything from surfing to night time ghost crab monitoring. These classes are guaranteed to bring some excitement into your vacation! 


Summer Camps

Spring Camps




We offer classes in various length at a variety of price points including free community marine science classes, 3 day classes, 1 day classes, homeschool classes, after school classes, spring break camp and several different special classes.

What do you do if the weather is bad?

As long as there is not severe weather (wind, thunder, lightning, etc) we will hold class. We have numerous engaging and exciting activities planned should we need to be in the lab for an extended amount of time. 

When should i Drop my Child off?

Please arrive 5-10 minutes early as classes will begin promptly. 


I need to contact EMA staff while my child is out exploring; what should I do?

Call or text 910-515-9751




What to Wear?


Students should come to class each day dressed in a bathing suit and a t-shirt or cover up with sunscreen already applied. Students should wear CLOSED TOED shoes such as crocs, keens, sturdy water shoes or old sneakers. As a safety precaution, PLEASE NO FLIP FLOPS!

What to Bring?

  • A towel
  • Sunscreen (SPF that is appropriate for your child)
  • A bottle of water or a sports drink (Powerade, Gatorade)
  • A snack (granola bar, string cheese, fruit, etc.)

About us

As owners of EMA, we wanted to create a company that conveys the passion and stewardship we feel for the environment to the youth of today. Both of us were raised in coastal North Carolina. We spent our summers fishing in the intracoastal waterway and surfing on the ocean. Our vision is to pass on our knowledge and love for our unique local environment not only to our own children but yours as well. 

-Taylor and Ernie


Taylor Maready

Taylor is co-owner and lead instructor of EMA. He has been teaching folks about the ocean for the last 7 years and has been in love with the ocean his whole life. When he isn't surfing, he is swimming, snorkeling, or just playing on the beach. To him, life revolves around the ocean. 

Amber "Ling" Maready

Ling is our EMA "mom". She is the epitome of fun. Sometimes we wonder where she gets her energy, but it never runs out. She is a "whale" of knowledge and can answer any question that you have about EMA. If she's not in the lab you can catch her on the beach doing yoga, playing in the sand with little Indy, or singing karaoke.  


Nicole Maready

Have you ever met that one person who is always happy? Well, Nicole is that person. She is the kindest person in the world, and maybe even outer space, although we haven't met everyone from outer space. Nicole handles all of our finances here at EMA and is an organization whiz. She also enjoys homeschooling, traveling, and kicking it at the beach.


Savannah Shingleton

Savannah is our youngest team member here at EMA, but don't let that fool you, she is one of the best instructors around. She is a true beach bum, wanting to spend every minute of a nice day on a blanket at the beach. We don't think there is another person in the world more positive than Savannah and she is always excited to share her love for the beach with our students. 

Ernie Fretwell

Ernie is one of our owners at EMA. He mostly takes care of the business aspects of EMA but his real passion is surfing and enjoying the beach. His others hobbies include listening to Taylor Swift, eating string cheese and playing the kazoo. And sometimes, when he's really bored, he'll go out in the garden, cover himself up with dirt and pretend he's a carrot ;)



If you see a small rodent-like creature running around EMA, don't be alarmed, it's just Bitsy. I guess you could say she's our mascot. Bitsy loves Paddleboarding, Kayaking, and running up and down the beach like a lunatic. She is a small dog with a big love for the ocean. 

Physical Address:

116 South Topsail Dr.
Surf City, NC, 28445


Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We will try to be back in touch with you within 24 hrs. You can also read our FAQ page to find answers to your questions. 

Phone: 910-328-1951 or 910-515-9751

Email: info@EcologicalMarineAdventures.com

Mailing Address: PO box 907 Hampstead, NC, 28443

Due to high call volume email is our preferred method of contact

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