Recreation and Tourism Management

  • teams of two rowing boats with onlookers cheering

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • W Hotel FieldTrip

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Recreate Yourself

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

  • Hospitality Experience

    Department of Recreation & Tourism Management

Aquatic Center at Castaic Lake

Founded in 1976, the CSUN, California State University Northridge, Aquatic Center has become well known throughout the community - and, in fact, the nation - for its excellence in boating and water safety education. The center, which is located at Castaic Lake Recreation Area in the scenic foothills of the Santa Clarita Valley, is of the largest boating education centers in the nation, serving in upward of 10,500 individuals through its credit, non-credit and community service programs each year. Approximately one-quarter of those individuals are CSUN students, while three-quarters are members of the community. From students to community groups to at-risk youth, we truly offer something for everyone!

The Center offers the following activities:

  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Boating Safety Education
  • Nature and Environmental Walks
  • Boating

AquaSMART Youth Programs

CSUN Aquatic Center is proud to offer California Department of Boating and Waterways AquaSMART programs. These programs were developed to teach students of all ages how to recreate safely in and around California Waterways. AquaSMART programs are engaging, hybrid learning experiences that consist of instructional videos, hands on education by our highly trained Lifeguards and Aquatic Instructors, and hours of boating in CANOES, KAYAKS and even STAND UP PADDLE BOARDS. With Lake Castaic as our class room, these programs represent an incredible space for students to learn about boating and water safety, water as a natural resource, as well as develop new, empowering skills that they will have for the rest of their lives. 

Our AquaSMART programs are always tailored to best fit the needs and goals of your group, whether they are school organizations, Girl Scouts, first time boaters, Boy scouts, church groups, or anyone else that wants to learn with us.

For more information and to schedule your AquaSMART program call us at 661-257-0571, or email us at

Make sure you ask about our generous Scholarship opportunities, make possible by the Department of Boating and Waterways.



For Employment opportunities please follow the links below. 

CSUN Student Employment-

Non Student Employment-

For internship or volunteer opportunities please email us at

Honoring our Excellence

The CSUN Aquatic Center is proud to have received several local, state and national awards including:

  • The National Recreation and Park Association Award of Excellence
  • The National Safe Boating Council Youth Program of Excellence Award
  • The United States Sailing Association Extraordinary Outreach and Inclusion Award

In addition, these organizations have recognized the Center for its outstanding programs:

  • Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles
  • California International Sailing Association
  • California Police Activity League Supporters (PALS)
  • City of Santa Clarita Community Center
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles Police Department
  • Los Angeles Times

Where to Find Us

We are conveniently located just 45 minutes Northwest of Los Angeles at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area. Our location is minutes from Six Flags Magic Mountain and an easy drive from major airports, including Burbank and Los Angeles International (LAX).

For information on any of our programs or to find out how you can make a difference by donating funds or usable items, such as boats or vehicles, to the Center (all donations are tax deductible), you can contact the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management office, or Executive Director Dr. Nathan Martin directly or reach us at