ALL ISSUES    |    FALL 2016
Egg-yolk jelly

Julie Packard
Director's Note

Julie Packard, Executive Director

If you have kids and teachers in your family, it's now the start of a new school year. For the Aquarium, back to school this year takes on a whole new meaning as we prepare to create our new Center for Ocean Education and Leadership. With your help, over the next two years, we'll bring this wonderful Center to reality—the next step in our commitment to strengthen science education in California and beyond.

I'm so pleased to report that over the summer we made great progress, and we're on track to break ground and begin construction before the end of the year.

We have a vision for what we can accomplish when we give every visiting school group an interactive learning experience facilitated by our Education staff, double the number of science teachers who take part in professional development workshops, and double the number of teens who participate in multi-year leadership development programs.

By investing in young people and their teachers, I'm confident we will contribute—in a significant way—to shaping a new generation of science-literate young women and men who will give the ocean a voice in national policy decisions.

We must still raise the funds to complete the Center, and to support the ongoing programs that will take place in this dynamic learning environment. I'm grateful that so many of you have stepped forward already to help make it possible. I'd particularly like to thank the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for its lead gift to our campaign.

We've attracted significant support from some of Silicon Valley's most iconic technology companies and industry leaders as well. They helped us raise nearly $4 million for the Center when we honored Intel co-founder Gordon Moore at our second David Packard Award dinner in May. You can read more about the event at Hewlett Packard Enterprise headquarters here.

If you have not yet contributed, I hope you'll join us with your gift so we can make our vision a reality. I look forward to thanking you, and sharing news of our progress.

While we're growing the ocean leaders of tomorrow, we have plenty of work to do today. This November we all have the opportunity to address an immediate threat to ocean health: the proliferation of plastic pollution that surrounds us every day. Californians will be asked to vote Yes on Prop 67 to uphold a statewide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, passed by our legislature in 2014 but now under attack by out-of-state manufacturers forcing a referendum.

If you vote in California, please join me and the Aquarium and vote yes for a plastic-free ocean—vote Yes on Prop 67.

The Aquarium continues to extend our message of the ocean's wonder and value in so many ways, and we took this to a new level with Hollywood's biggest summer release, Finding Dory. Pixar animators studied our behind-the-scenes areas and worked closely with our Husbandry team to learn how octopuses move, how feathers reflect light, and how sunlight filters through a kelp forest. You'll spot more than a few similarities between the Aquarium and the film's fictional Marine Life Institute—including our commitment to wildlife conservation.

Thank you for helping make the Aquarium such an inspiring and effective force on behalf of the ocean!