ACES (Academy of Coastal and Environmental Sciences) was established on the campus of Terry Parker High School in the 2006-2007 school year where it began its Year of Planning. During this time, a board of interested business partners in the community was assembled and began regularly meeting to lay the groundwork for shaping the academy. The partners come from professional and business organizations such as Environmental Services, Inc. (ESI), PBS&J Environmental Consultants, Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport), Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), the Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the National Park Service, Jacksonville University (JU) and Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ). The board is designed to provide input into the development of the curriculum, as well as provide support in the form of in-kind donations, mentoring, job shadowing, internship positions and professional oversight to keep the direction of the academy focused on projects and activities that are considered best practices and skills needed to be successful in the field of environmental science and field studies.
The academy is a 3-year program with students being course completers once they have successfully taken the sequence of classes from Introduction to Environmental Technology 1, followed by Environmental Tech 2, culminating with Water Quality 3. Students begin the academy in their sophomore year and matriculate all the way until they are seniors 3 years later.