Statement on the passing of Rep. Dan Benishek

Silver Spring, Md. – Oct 20, 2021 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation released the following statement from  President and CEO Kris Sarri: 

“I am saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Rep. Dan Benishek. Dr. Benishek was a strong sanctuary supporter and avid outdoorsman. As the co-chair of the National Marine Sanctuaries Caucus, Rep. Benishek was an advocate for conserving both the natural beauty and maritime history of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, engaging communities in stewardship and education, and advancing economic development by supporting tourism and recreation. Today, Thunder Bay serves as a model for community-led sanctuaries throughout the Great Lakes.” 



 Chip Weiskotten 

Director of Strategic Communications 




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