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We are the only official nonprofit partner to the National Marine Sanctuary System, and we directly support programs and projects at individual sites, across the System, and in the watersheds that connect to them. Our programs center around science and conservation, connecting people and communities to sanctuaries, and creating the next generation of ocean stewards through in- and out-of-school education.

Science and Conservation

Our national marine sanctuaries are hotspots of biodiversity and culture. They are home to iconic species like migratory whales and majestic sea birds, and habitats like massive coral reefs and towering kelp forests; they preserve our historical and cultural remains like shipwrecks, aircraft, and artifacts that define our nation’s maritime history; and they are living laboratories ripe for exploration. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s work aids in the conservation and protection of these special places and the treasures they protect.

Community Engagement

National marine sanctuaries belong to the American people. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation connects people to their sanctuaries and provides opportunities to get involved at local, state, and national levels. We encourage local stewardship and national engagement that leads to big differences for our ocean and Great Lakes, including supporting volunteer opportunities, hosting community events and promoting national policies to support marine conservation.

Education and Outreach

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation invests in preparing the next generation of conservationists to tackle the challenges facing our ocean and Great Lakes. We aim to create AHA! moments that lead to a lifelong passion for the ocean and Great Lakes by providing students, educators, and lifelong learners with opportunities to explore and discover connections to the natural world, no matter where they live. Our education work includes in- and out-of-classroom learning experiences, teacher trainings, citizen science opportunities, and educational exhibits at zoos and aquariums across the country.