SPRING 2016    /    ARCHIVE
Whale shark

Julie Packard
Director's Note

Julie Packard, Executive Director

The most visible and most inspiring part of our work is what happens on the floor of the Aquarium. Each day we touch thousands of lives, often in far-reaching ways. Recently, I received a letter from a longtime member and donor who described the impact a single visit had on her 9-year-old granddaughter. This young girl is fired up about the ocean, and charting her future career as a marine biologist!

Bringing visitors face-to-face with the wonders of the ocean is key to advancing our conservation mission. That's why, with your help, we'll open ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge this spring. It will feature the diverse and colorful animal life in the Gulf of California and Baja Peninsula. It will also highlight threats these animals face, the people who are fighting to save them and ways each of us can contribute to solutions.

Of course, our work doesn't end with the inspiring experiences visitors have in our exhibit galleries. Today, as never before, we're addressing significant threats to the health of the ocean. That's why we've stepped up our research and policy programs so significantly and why we've made conservation and science the centerpiece of our annual fundraising campaign. We're making a difference, and with your help we can do so much more.

Climate change is affecting ocean chemistry and temperature, undermining the living web that sustains all life on Earth. You'll hear more from us about ways we can create a low-carbon future—a better world for ourselves and for ocean life.

Our Seafood Watch team continues to expand its global impact as it engages businesses whose purchasing power is shifting seafood production in more sustainable directions.

This month we convened the first-ever international Bluefin Tuna Symposium. We brought together scientists, fisheries managers and other experts to chart a course to recovery of these remarkable and threatened fish.

This year, we'll also be active on several fronts to eliminate single-use plastic products that are such a damaging source of pollution worldwide. In California, we're backing a referendum to out-law single-use plastic shopping bags in retail stores. And we're spearheading a collaboration among leading U.S. aquariums to speak with a united voice on critical ocean health issues. There's much more on the horizon. Our white shark research team is developing innovative camera tags to help us learn what the sharks are doing when they congregate offshore in the "White Shark Café." And they'll begin using DNA analyses to document threatened shark species that are being killed and sold in the shark fin trade.

Our sea otter scientists are helping researchers who are sequencing the sea otter genome. This holds real promise for identifying potential genetic threats to the otters' recovery.

I'm also pleased to share that our education initiatives were recently recognized with a Community Impact Award from the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Our work to inspire future ocean leaders is so important and so needed, and we're very excited about what our new Ocean Education and Leadership Center will mean for the future of these programs.

Your generous support makes all of these successes possible. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the Aquarium—and to the future of the ocean.

Download Shorelines Spring 2016 (PDF)
Download Shorelines Spring 2016 Member Calendar (PDF)

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