History

About the Founders

Joel & Jennifer Darling met while attending Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi. Joel studied Marine Biology and Human Resource Business, while Jennifer obtained her degree in Molecular & Cell Biology. The pair met through the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network - Club, where both were officers and organized a number of activities for club members, such as community education programs and work days at the UTMSI Animal Rehabilitation Keep. It is through these experiences that both had the opportunity to rescue and rehabilitate whales, dolphins, sea turtles and shore birds. It is also how they learned of the need for wider-spread marine education. After college, Joel worked in the Education Department at Texas State Aquarium.

Timeline

July, 2002
D.C. is co-founded by Joel & Jennifer Darling in Boerne, Texas. The business is run out of their home. The primary activity is to do outreach programs with income supplemented from sales of crafts at Boerne Market Days.
April, 2004
D.C. is recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit organization.
September, 2005
D.C. begins a 6 month road trip called “Walruses & Whales on Wheels” where it spent time in 16 cities in 6 states, educating over 10,000 students.
February, 2006
After traveling through the area with “Walruses & Whales on Wheels,” Joel & Jennifer Darling decided to relocate D.C. to Muskegon County, Michigan.
April, 2012
D.C. partners with Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition to establish Muskegon Area Earth Week. It grows into Muskegon Area Earth Week+ by year two.
September, 2012
D.C. moves out of the house & into its 1st office at Heritage Professional Center in Muskegon Heights, Michigan.
September, 2013
D.C., in partnership with several area organizations, launch Muskegon County Water Festival.
June, 2015
D.C. refocuses activities to concentrate on fundraising & constructing the D.C. Ocean Centre.