ALL ISSUES     |     SUMMER 2018

Julie Packard
Director's Note

Julie Packard, Executive Director

Walking through the Aquarium in summer is such a joy. Every time, I'm struck by the energy and delight as people experience—often for the first time—the beauty and diversity of life in Monterey Bay.

It's not just our exhibit galleries, which are looking fabulous right now! I'm awed by the vibrant wildlife off our decks and the remarkable opportunity Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary provides for viewing ocean animals in a natural setting.

We'll have many special opportunities for you to experience the Aquarium this summer, from Member Nights and sleepovers to extended hours on weekends.

When you visit, you'll see for yourself how quickly we're progressing with our new Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership on Cannery Row. The frame of the building is largely complete, and we're on track to welcome teachers, teens and visiting school groups a year from now.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to create this exciting Center. We depend on your contributions not just to make the building a reality, but to support the staff and programs that will help us inspire future generations of ocean leaders.

We're also busy completing our new Animal Care Center, creating larger facilities to provide the best veterinary services for our exhibit animals, our science programs and for rescued wildlife. Your generous support for this urgently needed project is very much appreciated, and I'm so pleased that it will be up and running this fall.

Beyond our neighborhood, we're moving forward on many fronts around the world as our team members—and the Aquarium—grow in stature as global ocean conservation leaders.

This winter, we released a new online tool to help major businesses identify risks of slavery and other human rights abuses in their seafood supply chains—and engage with suppliers to make improvements. It's something our business partners have long requested. I'm proud that, in collaboration with Liberty Asia and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, we were able to deliver on this important issue.

Earlier this month, our shark researchers—together with colleagues from Stanford, MBARI, NOAA and the University of Delaware—traveled to the White Shark Café far offshore in the Pacific to learn what draws white sharks year after year. I look forward to reporting back on their findings.

This summer, in collaboration with 21 other U.S. aquariums, we'll continue to build awareness among millions of people about the threat posed by plastic pollution to ocean wildlife and our own health. The Aquarium Conservation Partnership will also take steps to create market demand for innovative alternatives for a host of single-use plastic products.

We're working closely with Gov. Jerry Brown's office in planning September's Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. The impacts of climate change on the ocean are already happening at a massive scale, and we'll make certain they're part of the discussion at this international gathering. Watch for updates in our Future of the Ocean blog and in Shorelines.