National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Support for the Sanctuaries The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation exists for one reason: to support the nation’s 13 marine sanctuaries and the 18,000 square miles of marine ecosystem they protect. (A 14th protected entity, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, covers 140,000 square miles of the northwest Hawaiian Islands archipelago.)

That means advocating for things like strong ocean policy, sufficient funding for the sanctuaries and expansion of the sanctuaries to preserve the greatest biodiversity possible. Among the NMFS trustees emeritii are such luminaries as Dr. Sylvia Earle, Jean Michel Cousteau and the Hon. Fritz Hollings, father of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The current Board of Trustees includes the Hon. Fred Keeley, the Santa Cruz lawmaker and author of California's groundbreaking Marine Life Protection Act, which established a statewide system of Marine Protected Areas and a new standard for marine conservation.

Locally the NMFS is perhaps best known for raising money for education, outreach and research related to the sanctuaries. In Santa Cruz, NMSF played a major role in fundraising for the $13.9 million Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center that opened in 2012 across from the Municipal Wharf. While public monies paid for the building’s construction, NMSF effectively paid for what lies inside the walls: an intertidal touch pool, a multimedia theater, a life-size model of a kelp forest and much more.

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
8601 Georgia Ave
Suite 501
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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