National Marine Sanctuary Foundation statement on NOAA leadership

Silver Spring, Md. – December 20, 2019 – National Marine Sanctuary Foundation President and CEO Kris Sarri released the following statement:  

“In 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) designated the first national marine sanctuary in nearly 20 years at Mallows Bay-Potomac River. We are grateful to NOAA’s leadership for this accomplishment as well as working to expand protections to historic shipwreck along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shoreline and for marine life in Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries. With their support, we are able to safeguard treasured places in our ocean and Great Lakes and invite Americans to discover the wonders that exist beneath the waves.

“In his time as acting administrator of NOAA, Dr. Neil Jacobs has been a steadfast supporter of sanctuaries and the work of the Foundation. If he is confirmed as NOAA Administrator, we welcome the opportunity to continue our work with him.

“The Foundation also appreciates Stu Levenbach’s leadership on expanding and designating new sanctuaries during his time at NOAA, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his role at Council of Environmental Quality.”


Contact: Chip Weiskotten

Director of Strategic Communications

301.608.3040 x 305



The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve America’s maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Learn more at