Securing Our Programs for the Future
Annual support through endowment distributions
Millions of people draw inspiration from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and look to us to be a voice for the ocean and its wildlife. It's a promise we fulfill each day. With your support, we're making a difference; but there is still so much more we can and must do.
We are tackling the gravest threats to ocean health—ones that put at risk not only ocean ecosystems but also our planet's life support system. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and members, we are meeting today's needs—but the challenges ahead are great, and demand greater resources. That's why it is so important we build our endowment to provide ongoing support and secure our programs for the future.
The Aquarium's Endowment Fund for the Future of the Ocean (established in 1996) includes our Board-Designated Fund and permanently designated contributions from our donors. These assets are invested and each year, we withdraw 4 percent of the fund's market value to help support our education initiatives, animal care, exhibits and global ocean conservation programs.
Last year, our endowment total was $237 million and provided over $6 million in critical support for our programs. Thanks to our trustees' commitment, the Board-Designated Fund has grown each year and represents 89 percent of our endowment. The Board-Designated Fund generates much needed support today but it can be used for other purposes. In the face of ever-increasing threats to the ocean, we must build our endowment through individual contributions. Donors who give in this way provide permanent support for our programs that will help us continue to work for a healthy ocean—in perpetuity.
We created the Children's Education Endowment Fund in 2011, to guarantee free admission to the Aquarium for all schoolchildren. Providing free school group visits has been our hallmark since we opened in 1984, and we have welcomed over 2.5 million children free of charge. Contributions to this special endowment will make it possible for future generations of children to enjoy this same opportunity.
Creating a Legacy for the Ocean
Inspiring children to find their voice to create positive change in the world is our most important work. We are grateful to Betty and Wendy for helping to make this possible today and for future generations.
Thank you to our dedicated donors for their generous and thoughtful contributions. We are honored to recognize them for their gifts received in 2017.
View our donors
Leaving a Legacy for the Ocean
It is with deep gratitude and sadness that we acknowledge the kindness of our Ocean Legacy Circle donors who we recently lost:
- E. James Archer
- KerryLynn Blau
- Mary Brenneisen
- Nancy Dolton
- Lowel Figen
- M. Jean Fisher
- Lavon I. Frazee
- Betty Gorman
- Lionel and Bernadine Goularte
- Jill Nelson Lynch
- Sharon McCormack
- Gary D. Page
- Lauren Petterson
- Louis Sipos
- Cynthia Stubbs
- Chuck and Carol Sweet
- Merrill “Sabrina” Sword
- Ellen W. Weiss
We remain extremely honored by the loyalty and commitment of our 471 Ocean Legacy Circle donors. Their gifts in the future will be critical to meet the challenges that lie ahead and ensure a healthy ocean for future generations.