Monterey Bay Aquarium Business Partners Honored

Jan 13, 2014

Aquarium News

The reception helped kick off the aquarium’s 30th anniversary year. It also included a preview by Executive Director Julie Packard of the aquarium’s Community Impacts Report, to be released in January. Highlights include:

  • The aquarium adds more than $385 million to the Monterey County economy each year through tourism spending, payroll and purchases from local vendors. Aquarium visitors generate more than $30 million for local governments annually in sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes and parking fees. The aquarium employs more than 500 people with a $24 million annual payroll.
  • Since launching a national online advertising campaign in 2011, the aquarium has spent $3.6 million to promote visits to Monterey County, attracting an average of 141,000 out-of-state visitors to the destination each year. These added visitors spent $160.3 million locally, and contributed $14.6 million in additional sales and hotel occupancy taxes.
  • Since 1984, the aquarium has provided free admission and programs for 2.1 million school children – 400,000 of them from Monterey County schools. Since 1986, 20,000 teachers have taken part in the aquarium’s free professional development workshops. Forty percent of the teachers work at schools in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.
  • Since 2002, the aquarium has admitted 700,000 people in the community free of charge, including underserved audiences visiting through “Free to Learn,” “Shelf to Shore” And annual “Community Week” programs. In 2014, for its 30th year, the aquarium will host a 30th anniversary free-admission week from February 3-9 for all residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. Starting in December 2014, the annual Community Week will be expanded to include residents of Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, as well as Monterey County residents.


The reception honored three partners who have helped advance the aquarium’s mission to inspire conservation of the oceans through their contributions of money, time, ingenuity and love for their community, said aquarium Public Affairs Officer Barbara Meister.

Mark Verbonich, who recently retired as vice president of community affairs with the Pebble Beach Company, championed the work of the aquarium throughout his career. Under his leadership, the Pebble Beach Company was a Charter Business supporter, and it has continued its involvement for 30 years, contributing both in-kind support and a quarter million dollars toward aquarium education programs.

Elizabeth Martinez, the Salinas library director since 2007, involved the aquarium in renovation of the Cesar Chavez Library in East Salinas, incorporating an agua (water) theme and bold ocean images installed by the aquarium’s exhibits team to connect community residents to the ocean and marine life.

Jill Madden, who teaches at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Watsonville, has been an important player for nearly a decade in the aquarium’s partnership with Pajaro Valley Unified School District. She has participated in several of the aquarium’s free teacher institutes and applied the concepts and tools from the institutes in her science classes..

The nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014. Its mission is to inspire conservation of the oceans.

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