National Marine Sanctuary System Sponsorship Program

Two backpackers walking on a beach

Contact:
Elizabeth Moore
elizabeth.moore@noaa.gov or 240-533-0709

Matt Stout
matthew.stout@noaa.gov or 240-533-0706

The sanctuary system has the authority under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act to solicit and designate official sponsors of individual sanctuaries or the sanctuary system as a whole, to license the use of the National Marine Sanctuaries whale tail logo, and to accept donations. ONMS intends to implement this authority to enhance our management, science, outreach, and sustainability missions through donations, partnerships, sponsorships, and licensing. A sponsor may be an individual, business, government agency, or nonprofit organization who shares our vision for protecting special places and ensuring a thriving ocean for us and for our children.

Working with outside corporate partners is not new to us. At&T helped fund the undersea lab mission Aquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk, which allowed live broadcasts to thousands of viewers around the world. Sony and Intel supported Project Shiphunt, when five high school students from Saginaw, Michigan embarked on the adventure of a lifetime: hunt for a shipwreck, investigate its identity, and document it in 3D for future generations. Project Shiphunt brought over 50 researchers and filmmakers to Alpena, and resulted in a documentary and extensive positive press coverage for all the participants. UPS, in 2013, helped transport the fragile forensic reconstructions of two USS Monitor sailors as part of the ceremonies honoring them and the other 16 sailors lost when the Monitor sank. In 2015, the Boeing Company provided an 18.5-foot-long autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Echo Ranger, to help survey the USS Independence, scuttled in 1951 in what is now Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In 2018, Yamaha donated two new engines worth about $60,000 to the research vessel in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

But our official sponsorship program is new. Under this program, ONMS will solicit and designate official sponsors of individual sanctuaries or the National Marine Sanctuary System as a whole. Sponsors who partner with us will be the vanguard to what we believe will be a long and positive effort benefiting our sanctuaries, communities, and ocean. This new program provides an opportunity for positive recognition, stakeholder engagement, community investment, and enhanced organizational social responsibility for our sponsors.

In order to maintain confidence in our public trust responsibilities and integrity, sponsors are carefully screened. Once accepted, partners are made official sponsors by way of a signed agreement that spells out the responsibilities and requirements of both parties and, if desired, authorizes the sponsor to sell merchandise with, and otherwise use, the NMS whale tail logo. Only those who enter into these agreements are allowed to call themselves sponsors of the sanctuary system. More details on sponsor criteria and the selection and screening process, as well as template agreements, can be found in our guidelines.

The ability to become a sponsor brings benefits to both the sanctuary system and to the sponsor. Sponsorships allows people and organizations to support places and projects that are near and dear to their hearts, giving back to the community, increasing team morale, and creating positive brand recognition and press coverage. The resources provided by sponsors—which can be funding, tangible property, provision of expertise, and other things—support sanctuary designation and management, and allow us to undertake new or expand existing programs that are impactful.

Our priority projects for sponsorship

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these or other opportunities for sponsorship, or just want to learn more about what being a sponsor means, please contact:

Contact:
Elizabeth Moore
elizabeth.moore@noaa.gov or 240-533-0709

Matt Stout
matthew.stout@noaa.gov or 240-533-0706