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National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Organization Mission

The Foundation’s mission is to leave a thriving Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to future generations by protecting wildlife and habitats, raising sanctuary visibility, and inspiring the public to be its stewards.

The Big Idea 2023:

The Foundation seeks to provide free, immersive learning experiences in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The cost of participating in environmental education programs are often a barrier to students from low-income or marginalized communities. Expanding our bilingual staff and paid interns is an essential aspect of effectively serving this community as well as establishing partnerships with new, diverse programs, including after-school, summer camp, and family programs — all in Santa Cruz County.

By offering in-person and remote learning at no cost, we eliminate this barrier for up to 1,500 students each year to experience the sanctuary in a new, exciting, and educational way. This year we will also engage with elementary schools in Watsonville by supporting in-person field trips to the Sanctuary.

This incredible program enabled our students to learn about Monterey Bay Sanctuary and experience the marine habitat (almost) first hand. Opportunities to experience the marine environment are surprisingly rare for our students, even though they live near the coast. They are very concerned about the environment and these programs reinforce the value of stewardship and environmental action.


Sydnie Moore, Education Specialist, T.S. MacQuiddy Elementary, PVUSD