MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM FOUNDATION

aka Monterey Bay Aquarium   |   Monterey, CA   |  www.montereybayaquarium.org/

Mission

The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.

Ruling year info

1978

Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Aquarium's Board of Trustees

Ms. Julie Packard

Main address

886 Cannery Row

Monterey, CA 93940 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2487469

NTEE code info

Zoo, Zoological Society (D50)

Marine Science and Oceanography (U21)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The ocean sustains all life on our planet. From the air we breathe to the seafood we eat, our very survival depends on a healthy ocean. Today, more than 7 billion of us compete to share the ocean's bounty. At the same time, escalating impacts on ocean health threaten the long-term sustainability of ocean resources and the human communities that depend on them in California, across the United States, and beyond. Like never before, we are at a critical moment in time--a pivotal point when our decisions to address the threats of pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction, and the climate change will shape the future of the ocean. The good news is when we do the right thing, the ocean has an extraordinary capacity to recover. For 37 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has helped lead this recovery by inspiring conservation of the ocean.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Conservation & Science

The Aquarium’s Conservation and Science programs tackle some of the most critical issues affecting ocean health. We bring decades of expertise and relationships in ocean science, policy and markets to the task. Our priorities include ensuring ocean health, thriving ocean wildlife and sustainable fisheries & aquaculture. Our programs include conservation research, policy initiatives and Seafood Watch.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Since we opened in 1984, more than 2.6 million schoolchildren and teachers have come through our doors—for free. Each year, we offer in-depth programs for school children, teens and teachers that reach thousands more. The goal of our education programming is to develop young adults who are inspired future leaders, science and ocean literate, confident and ready to act on behalf of the future of our planet. Our programs serve a diverse group of youth and teachers and are staffed by a dedicated team of educators to ensure each program meets high standards of quality. In 2019, we opened the new Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education & Leadership. The 25,500 square foot facility offers state-of-the-art learning environments and technology to inspire the next wave of ocean stewards.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

The Aquarium showcases the habitats and sea life of the Monterey Bay and beyond, from coastal wetlands to the open sea, from kelp forests to a mile-deep submarine canyon. Today, more than 80,000 animals and plants, representing over 1,700 fishes, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds and plants fill nearly 200 exhibits.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

Association of Zoos and Aquariums- Accreditation 2017

Awards

Best Aquarium in the World 2014

TripAdvisor

25 Year Award 2016

American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Significant Achievement Award to our Sea Otter Program 2013

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Significant Achievment Award to our WATCH education program 2013

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

#3 in 20 Best Places to Take the Kids 2014

Parenting Magazine

William G. Conway International Conservation Award for Seafood Watch 2019

Association of Zoos and Aquarium

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Aquarium Experience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Paid admissions include general admissions, member visits, group visits and private events.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Aquarium Experience

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Free admissions include community week, Free to Learn and Shelf to Shore programs for low-income families, and free field trip visits for schoolchildren and their chaperones.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our free Field Trip programs allow students to learn, have fun and discover their connections to the ocean while exploring the Aquarium's exhibits and programs.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean. To achieve our mission, we provide an outstanding aquarium experience, conduct cutting-edge ocean conservation research, promote seafood sustainability through our Seafood Watch program, and offer an innovative suite of science-based education programs for schoolchildren and their teachers. Based on the urgent need to safeguard threatened ocean resources, we leverage our reputation as a trusted ocean conservation leader to reach beyond our walls to inspire the public, the business community and policymakers to act on behalf of the global ocean.

We established three impact areas to allow our programs and staff to collectively and cooperatively achieve our mission: 1) Inspire and Engage, 2) Act for the Ocean and 3) Build Our Capacity for the Future.

1) Inspire and Engage: We create inspiring experiences for Aquarium visitors, build a constituency for the ocean, and develop and empower young conservation leaders.

2) Act for the Ocean: We improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture, advance policy for ocean conservation, and generate scientific information to guide conservation decisions.

3) Build Our Capacity for the Future: We ensure financial sustainability, invest in our people, take care of our physical assets, model best practices in environmental sustainability and advance our work through technology and innovation.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's capabilities include a successful track record that spans 37 years, an active and effective board of 20 trustees, nearly 400 highly skilled and dedicated staff members, more than 1,100 committed and knowledgeable volunteers, long-term partnerships with other respected conservation organizations, and the largest membership base of any aquarium in the world.

Our staff includes respected experts in the fields of animal care, conservation and science, education, exhibits, public programming, finance, marketing and development. As an institution and as individuals, we believe in core values which direct our day-to-day activities, influence our interactions with others and guide our future plans. These values include service, inclusion, respect, teamwork, leadership, integrity, quality, innovation, collaboration, sustainability and fun.

Our founders gave us a great gift when they provided financial support to open the Aquarium free of debt. They charted a course for our future operations—one that balances a deep commitment to the best business practices of the for-profit world and the loftiest goals of a mission-driven nonprofit. Philanthropy continues to make possible our ambitious programs aimed at ensuring a healthy future for the global ocean. We follow our founders’ vision by engaging in a rigorous planning and budgeting process each year that fits within a five-year financial model developed by the board and senior management team. The primary objectives for our planning process include strategic planning, financial planning, project planning and organizational planning.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has made a major contribution to ocean conservation since opening our doors in October 1984. By showcasing our local habitats and the importance of conservation, the Aquarium helped inspire designation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 1999 and advocated for the network of marine protected areas that now spans the length of the California Coast. We have also accomplished cutting-edge research that is helping protect key species and ocean ecosystems. We have contributed to the increased population of the threatened sea otter by raising orphaned sea otter pups through our innovative surrogacy program and then releasing them into the wild. Since we established Seafood Watch in 1999 to address inadequate fisheries management, overfishing, destruction of marine habitats and skyrocketing demand for seafood, it has become one of the most respected sources of science-based information used by business and consumers to find and purchase seafood from ocean-friendly sources. The Aquarium has also played a leading role in the fight for marine protection by backing state and federal actions and helped establish the Aquarium Conservation Partnership to amplify the collective impact of aquariums in the United States on ocean conservation policy. For more information about our conservation work, please visit our webpage "Act for the Ocean" at https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/act-for-the-ocean.

Other accomplishments include: welcoming over 65 million guests and providing free admission and education programs for more than 2.6 million school children, teens and teachers since we opened our doors; hosting Big Blue Live in 2015, a live television event that celebrated Monterey Bay as an ocean conservation success story of global significance; being named “Best Aquarium in the World" in 2014 by TripAdvisor® Travelers' Choice™; having Executive Director Julie Packard awarded the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for her commitment to ocean sustainability and leadership; receiving the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Community Impact Award in 2015 for our education programs; and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums 2019 William G. Conway International Conservation Award for our Seafood Watch program. We encourage you to review our Annual Reviews for further details.

Although we are proud of our accomplishments and encouraged by positive actions by the public and government in addressing threats to the ocean, the amazing recovery of Monterey Bay and surrounding areas, and the ability of marine protected areas to help address the serious impacts of climate change on the ocean, we understand that much work remains. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is committed to building on our past accomplishments to address existing and future threats to the ocean. We will continue to be innovative in our actions and solutions though our exhibits, education programs, conservation and science programs,

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM FOUNDATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 9/21/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Stephen Neal

Chairman and CEO, Cooley


Board co-chair

Ms. Julie Packard

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tegan Acton

Co-Founder and President, Sunlight Giving

Margaret Caldwell

Deputy Director, Oceans, Conservation and Science Program The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Samantha Campbell

Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment

Caroline Getty

Conservationist

M.R.C. Greenwood

President Emerita, University of Hawaii

Mike Gupta

CFO, Plenty Unlimited Inc.

William Landreth

Senior Director, Goldman Sachs

Joan Lane

Community Volunteer

Michael Mantell

Founder, Resources Law Group, LLP

Connie Martinez

CEO, SVCreates

Susan Orr

Founder and President, Telosa, Inc.

Pietro Parravano

President, Institute for Fisheries Resources

Chris Scholin

President and CEO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Greg Silverman

CEO and founder of Stampede Ventures

Louise Stephens

Conservationist

Mark Wan

Co-Founding Partner, Causeway Media Partners

Gideon Yu

Co-Founder and CEO, Eva Automation

Martha Martinez

Steering Partner for Monterey County Bright Futures

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/10/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.