NOAA has authority under the NMSA to solicit and designate official sponsors of individual sanctuaries or the sanctuary system as a whole. Sponsorships provide an opportunity for positive recognition, stakeholder engagement, community investment, and enhanced organizational social responsibility for our sponsors. Sponsorships can support such programs as our Ocean Guardian School Program (supporting school-based education and stewardship projects), various volunteer programs at different national marine sanctuaries, or programs and exhibits at our visitor centers or offices.
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. Only those who enter into these agreements are allowed to call themselves "sponsors of the sanctuary system." Interested parties may also become sponsors and support programs throughout the National Marine Sanctuary System through our non-profit partner, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.