Statement on the Passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein

Silver Spring, Md. – September 29, 2023 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation released the following statement from President and CEO Joel R. Johnson:

“The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation expresses its condolences on the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Among her many accomplishments, Sen. Feinstein distinguished herself as a champion of marine conservation and national marine sanctuaries along the coast of California and across the country.

“As Senator, she was a fierce advocate for sanctuaries contributing solutions to the biodiversity and climate crises our ocean faces. Sen. Feinstein, in partnership with Rep. Lois Capps, was instrumental in obtaining $7 million in federal funding for the construction of a new building at UCSB’s Marine Science Institute to house the administrative offices of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. She introduced legislation to expand Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries, and defended the status of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary when it was under threat from being opened up for oil and gas exploration. Most recently, Sen. Feinstein strongly urged NOAA to ‘act as soon as possible’ for the designation of Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

“We owe it to Sen. Feinstein to see her legacy of protecting our waters through, and to finish the job on Chumash. We appreciate all of Sen. Feinstein’s advocacy for the conservation of our treasured waters and offer our deepest condolences to her family and staff.”


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 cultural and 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 


Contact: Chip Weiskotten 

Director of Strategic Communications