NMSF awards $139,000 in annual Ocean Awareness Grants

Funding given to sustainable fishing, student-outreach projects

Silver Spring, Md. – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is proud to announce eight awardees of the 2011 Ernest F. Hollings Ocean Awareness Trust Fund. Organizations across the country submitted proposals about marine mammals, non-point source pollution, marine debris, human health, and ocean acidification. NMSF received nearly double the number of proposals it did in 2010. The 2011 Hollings Grant recipients are:

Bruckner Chase Ocean Positive ($10,000) American Samoa
Endurance swimmer Bruckner Chase will talk to community groups in independent and American Samoa to inspire action for human and ocean health. This will be followed by two long-distance solo swims. These efforts will be professionally filmed and screened at an international film festival.

Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association ($24,440) San Francisco
Our Changing Ocean and Estuaries: A professional Development Series for Educators
A series of hands-on workshops with leading marine researchers will train teachers how to integrate the impacts of climate change on our ocean into their curriculum.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. ($14,603) Mystic, Conn.
Thar She Blows: From Whale Hunt to Whalewatch – the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan
Teacher training and public programming about the dramatic shifts in the American perception of whales will culminate in 2014 with the 38th voyage of former whaleship Charles W. Morgan, this time sailing through Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

National Aquarium ($19,800) Baltimore
Telling Stories: Incorporating National Marine Sanctuary Discovery Cart Themes
Upgraded mobile Discovery Cart stations will connect visitors to a sanctuary, where they will use iPad technology to learn how they can stop the problem of marine debris.

The Ocean Project ($15,000) Providence, R.I.
World Oceans Day & Marine Sanctuary Outreach Campaign
World Oceans Day will increase worldwide ocean awareness by organizing hundreds of events in more than 70 countries.

O’Neill Sea Odyssey ($10,000) Santa Cruz, Calif.
Conservation Ocean Stewards
Underserved California students in fourth through sixth grade will have the opportunity to improve their science literacy skills while learning about the ocean in this bilingual field study program.

SeaWeb ($24,735) San Francisco
KidSafe Seafood: Safeguarding the Health of the Kids and the Ocean
Parents will learn healthy, sustainable seafood options for children through messaging that highlights the importance of consumer choice.

The Sportfishing Conservancy ($20,000) Long Beach, Calif.
National Marine Sanctuary Classic
This summer-long, cross-country event will emphasize sustainable fishing and public enjoyment in national marine sanctuaries. Each week anglers will submit pictures of sustainable fishing practices within sanctuaries, with four prize scholarships chosen at the Classic’s end.

The Hollings Fund was established in 2005 as a way to increase ocean awareness and stewardship in honor of Sen. Ernest F. Hollings, a fierce ocean advocate. Since that time, NMSF has awarded over 40 groups a collective total over $1 million. NMSF gives additional consideration to projects highlighting the importance of sanctuaries.

“This year’s selections represent a particularly strong class of grants seeking to reach out to the general public through activities that can be enjoyed in our national marine sanctuaries, such as fishing, sailing, swimming,” said NMSF President Jason Patlis.

Submissions for the next Hollings grant open online around Labor Day, 2012.

About the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation connects people to the underwater places that define the American ocean. National marine sanctuaries – areas in our ocean or Great Lakes set aside for public enjoyment – are your underwater national parks. Since its founding in 2000, NMSF has worked tirelessly with NOAA’s office of national marine sanctuaries to maintain community involvement, making sanctuary management one of the most public processes in our democracy.

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