$100,000 Launches Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Monterey, CA – Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced it received a major gift of $100,000 from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. With this matching grant, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, which supports and advocates for America’s 13 national marine sanctuaries, will launch a local foundation chapter to help protect Monterey Bay for future generations. The announcement is part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s 25th Anniversary Gala held at Monterey Bay Aquarium on Saturday, September 16th, where the Honorable Leon Panetta was recognized for his pivotal role in the Sanctuary’s creation.

Today, Steve John, CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation announced the $100,000 matching grant. “The Monterey Peninsula Foundation is proud to provide funding to help launch the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The local foundation will support efforts to protect Monterey Bay for our children and grandchildren.”

The local foundation will focus on supporting four priority areas: protecting marine wildlife and their homes; keeping sanctuary waters clean and accessible; inspiring children to learn about the ocean and become its stewards; and advancing research. Founding members of the Foundation chapter’s governing board include the Honorable Leon Panetta, the Honorable Sam Farr, Mr. Ted Balestreri, Ms. Hilary Bryant and the Honorable Fred Keeley.

“The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will build a strong and unified coalition among the people invested in the success of Monterey Bay to champion its conservation,” said Kris Sarri, President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “We appreciate the tremendous support from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and the founding Board members for launching this local foundation chapter. It underlines the importance of a healthy and vibrant coast and ocean to the communities surrounding Monterey Bay.”

“The ocean does amazing things. For example, every other breath we take comes from a healthy ocean. The oceans, and the life within them cannot, however, speak for themselves. The local foundation will provide the Sanctuary with more voices for the ocean by way of enhanced education, information and collaboration,” said former California Speaker Pro Tem, and founding chapter Board member, Fred Keeley.

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is dedicated to raising funds to support the long-term health of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) for the two million residents spread across the five counties adjacent to the Sanctuary as well as the millions of tourists who visit the region every year.

“The local fundraising efforts come at a critical time for the Sanctuary,” said Paul Michel, Superintendent of Monterey Bay. “The local foundation chapter will help ensure lasting protection and stewardship of this treasured place.”

Twenty-five years ago, because of the dedication of local communities, conservationists, and elected officials, the nation designated Monterey Bay the 11th national marine sanctuary. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary stretches from Marin to San Luis Obispo counties and encompasses over 6,000 square miles of coastal and offshore waters. It is the largest protected marine area in the continental United States. Established to protect the health of Monterey Bay and the communities that rely on it, the Sanctuary is a treasured place in America’s ocean. It provides home to 36 species of marine mammals, more than 180 species of seabirds and shorebirds, and at least 525 species of fish .

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation thanks the sponsors for their generous support of the 25th Anniversary Gala: Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Cannery Row Company, the Pebble Beach Company, Community Foundation for Monterey County, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Estancia Wines/Constellation Brands, Green Waste, California American Water, Dart Container Corp., Deepwater Desal, Montage Health, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Lighthouse Bank, San Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Steinbeck Country Produce.

Contact: Marcus Reamer, Strategic Communications Director
marcus@marinesanctuary.org 301.608.3040 x 311