ALL ISSUES    |    SUMMER 2017
Humpback whale in the wild

Julie Packard
Director's Note

Julie Packard, Executive Director

At a time when the ocean and its wildlife need our attention more than ever, we've been active on many fronts—and your support is helping us to truly make a difference.

From construction of our new Center for Ocean Education and Leadership to our active role in innovative research projects and conservation policy initiatives, we are having an impact around the globe.

You'll see changes at the Aquarium, too, when you visit this summer. We just opened our Soaring with Seabirds exhibit for families with younger children, and created a quiet lounge area nearby for nursing mothers.

Our ocean-view decks will be busy this summer. Between our Underwater Explorers surface scuba program and daily deck shows about the cultural history of fishing in Monterey Bay, there will be lots to see and do, when you're not keeping an eye out for passing birds, whales, dolphins and sea otters!

When you stroll down Cannery Row, you'll see our Education Center taking shape as we prepare to host our first students, teachers and emerging teen leaders in just a couple of years. You have been very generous with your support for the Center and the innovative programs it will house, and we're closer than ever to making this big project a reality.

Our research team has been exceptionally busy. With colleagues in Mexico, we've identified a new nursery area for young white sharks and pinpointed threats that could slow the recovery of white sharks in the northeastern Pacific. We're leading an initiative to learn about the lives of steelhead trout when they return to the ocean—a complete mystery to science right now. And we're partnering with university scientists to map the genomes of both sea otters and white sharks, work that will contribute to conservation efforts for the species.

We're beginning another important project as well: a major expansion of our Animal Care Center starts this fall. When it's complete, we'll have better facilities for delivering world-class care to our exhibit animals, and contributing in new ways to our conservation research work. I hope you'll lend us your support.

We continue to have a huge impact beyond our walls. This spring, we convened a forum at Hewlett Packard Enterprise with top Silicon Valley executives, where former Secretary of State John Kerry drew connections between a healthy ocean, the strength of our economy and our own survival.

Our policy team will soon travel to New York for the first United Nations gathering to link sustainable development with ocean health. Our participation in a leadership role reflects the high regard in which the Aquarium is held as a global ocean conservation leader.

Internationally, we're working more closely than ever in Southeast Asia with seafood producers, governments and major businesses to shift fisheries and aquaculture in more sustainable directions. Later this year, we'll give businesses new tools so they can use their purchasing power to address human rights abuses in the seafood supply chain.

This only begins to scratch the surface. In every dimension of our work—from our exhibits and education programs to our science, policy and seafood programs—we are more deeply committed than ever to ensuring a healthy future for the ocean.

We are making a real difference, thanks to the incredible support we receive from each of you.

Thank you for giving us the encouragement, and resources, to be a champion for the ocean.