Aquarium Honors Leaders in Ocean Conservation and Education

Nov 29, 2016












The Monterey Bay Aquarium will honor Lauren Dachs of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Congressman Sam Farr and Stanley Wyman, a teacher at Bolsa Knolls Middle School in Salinas, for their commitment to the environment and ocean conservation at a reception for community leaders and philanthropists on Thursday, December 1.

Every year the nonprofit aquarium hosts a special reception in conjunction with its Community Open House, when residents of the tri-county Monterey Bay region receive free admission. The event recognizes three partners who have helped advance the aquarium’s mission through their contributions of ingenuity, time, funding, and love for their community.

This year’s reception focuses on the aquarium’s newest endeavor, the 25,000 square-foot Center for Ocean Education and Leadership, to be located at 625 Cannery Row. The center is the aquarium’s largest undertaking since 1996 when it opened its Open Sea Wing, and is at the core of a six-year, $165 million capital campaign to support the aquarium’s education, public outreach, and conservation and science programs.

The 2016 honorees are:

  • Lauren Dachs, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and President of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation is being recognized for the foundation’s commitment to science and environmental education in California, and its long-term support of the aquarium and its education programs. Most recently the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation made a lead gift to support the aquarium’s campaign to raise $65 million capital campaign for the Center for Ocean Education and Leadership.
  • Congressman Sam Farr is being honored for his ocean conservation leadership. Rep. Farr’s legacy includes the designation of the California Coastal National Monument, providing support for Marine Protected Area’s in California and nationally, and advocacy for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funding and programs, including those related to marine debris and ocean acidification. Additionally, Rep. Farr is a founding co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus and championed a comprehensive approach to National Ocean Policy.
  • Stanley Wyman, a teacher at Bolsa Knolls Middle School, in the Santa Rita Union Elementary School District in Salinas,  is being recognized for his efforts to engage students in project-based science. Through collaborations with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Teacher Institute, Knowles expanded his Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) building class to apply students’ designs in hands-on environmental science and data collection.

Since 2002, the aquarium has admitted more than 800,000 people in the community free of charge, including students, teachers and underserved audiences who visit through “Free to Learn,” “Shelf to Shore,” “Student Ocean Stewards” and annual “Community Open House” programs. This year the aquarium will host a free-admission week from December 3 - 11 for all residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Community Open House is made possible, in part, by contributions from the aquarium’s business partners.

For more information and a complete list of aquarium business partners, please visit

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