The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.
Ms. Julie Packard
886 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940 USA
Aquarium, Ocean, Conservation, Education, Marine
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.
The ocean sustains all life on our planet. From the air we breathe to the seafood we eat, our very survival depends on healthy seas. 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 more than 30 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has helped lead this recovery by inspiring conservation of the ocean.
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
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: California ocean health, thriving ocean wildlife, and sustainable fisheries & aquaculture. Our programs include research and policy initiative, and Seafood Watch.
Since we opened in 1984, more than two 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.
Children and youth (0-19 years)
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 41,000 creatures representing over 550 species fill nearly 200 exhibits.
Where we workNew!
How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Total number of paid admissions
Paid admissions include general admissions, member visits, group visits and private events.
Total number of free admissions
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
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.
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean. To achieve our mission, we provide the best aquarium experience possible; the most relevant, scientifically based ocean conservation information available; and the most innovative science-based education programs for schoolchildren and their teachers in the world. Based on the urgent need to safeguard threatened ocean resources, we strive to reach beyond our walls to inspire the public, the business community and policymakers to act on behalf of the ocean. We work hard to maintain our reputation as a trusted guide to the wonders of ocean life that is committed to achieving a healthy global ocean.
Our strategic plan establishes 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 will create inspiring and powerful connections with visitors through superlative on-site experiences; build a strong and diverse constituency among the public that supports and acts on behalf of the ocean; use the Aquarium's authority to cultivate and influence leaders who support and act on behalf of the ocean; develop a rising generation that is ocean literate, inspired, confident and ready to lead action on behalf of the ocean; and extend and deepen our connection with visitors and supporters beyond our walls.
2) Act for the Ocean: We will conserve iconic Pacific Ocean wildlife and ecosystems; improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture; reduce sources of ocean plastic pollution; advance action to address the causes of climate change and ocean acidification and their impacts on ocean health; and model best practices for ocean conservation and sustainability.
3) Build Our Capacity for the Future: We will build financial capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future, build and maintain engaged and effective board governance, attract and retain a productive, dedicated, diverse and motivated staff and volunteer workforce; maintain the quality of our facilities and infrastructure, ensure that live animals in the exhibits and in research projects are well cared for and healthy; strengthen the Aquarium's engagement and relationships with communities in our region; rapidly deploy new business technology and assure effectiveness of existing technology to improve productivity; create a science and technology landscape that will enable data-driven decision-making; maintain a secure fault-tolerant technology infrastructure; and improve the Aquarium's ability to be nimble and innovative.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's capabilities include a successful track record that spans more than 30 years, an active and effective board of trustees, nearly 500 highly skilled and dedicated staff members, more than 1,200 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. We follow this 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 charts its progress by asking each department to develop and then measure their progress and success against specific benchmarks. These benchmarks serve as a system of accountability to inform future planning efforts. For Aquarium programs, we measure the number of guests who visit each year and conduct guest surveys and market research to measure visitor satisfaction and understand the impact of a guest's visit on their understanding and commitment to ocean conservation. For our education programs, we measure the number of students or teachers reached, and the number, frequency and intensity of activities in which they participated as well as how participants changed as a result of these activities. For our conservation and science programs, we measure the number of animals we rescue and rehabilitate, the results of the research we conduct that answer key questions about the ecology and population biology of marine wildlife to ensure its survival, the number of scientific papers our staff publish, the passage of ocean conservation legislation, and the shift fisheries and aquaculture operations make towards being more sustainable.
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, including sea otters, sharks and bluefin tuna. In the last twenty years, we have rescued and rehabilitated more than 700 sea otters and contributed to the increased population of this endangered species. Understanding that ocean life was under serious threat, we established Seafood Watch in 1999 to address inadequate fisheries management, overfishing, destruction of marine habitats, and skyrocketing demand for seafood. Seafood Watch 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, both wild and farmed. 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 Conservation and Science blog.
Other accomplishments include: welcoming over 60 million guests and providing free admission and education programs for more than 2.4 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; and receiving the Silicon Valley Business Journal's Community Impact Award in 2015 for our education programs. 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, and advocacy to fulfill our mission to inspire conservation of the ocean today and in the future.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums- Accreditation
MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM FOUNDATION
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 8/22/2017
Mr. Steve Neal
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
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?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?