The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is full of superlatives. The deepest underwater canyon, the most sea otters, and more. But it faces challenges, both politically and environmentally.
Designated in 1992, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a federally protected marine area off of California’s central coast. Stretching from San Francisco to Cambria, the sanctuary encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square statute miles (4,601 nmi2) of ocean, extending an average distance of 30 miles from shore. At its deepest point, the sanctuary reaches 12,713 feet (more than two miles) and harbors an incredible variety of marine life, including 36 species of marine mammals, more than 180 species of seabirds and shorebirds, at least 525 species of fishes, and an abundance of invertebrates and algae.
Paul Michel, the Superintendent for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Paul Michel has 32 years of experience in environmental protection at the local, state, federal, and international levels. He is a nationally-recognized leader in wetlands, coast, and ocean management and protection. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing comprehensive natural resource management and protection plans and managing marine protected areas. Mr. Michel was named Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in April 2007. As Superintendent, he is responsible for all of the science, education, and resource protection programs involved with managing and protecting the nation’s second largest marine sanctuary at over 6,000 square miles.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Michel worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He served in various capacities in Washington, D.C., including a White House assignment in the Office of Management and Budget. In Los Angeles from 1990-1994, he coordinated resource protection programs for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project. From 1995-2003, he led EPA’s efforts to restore and protect wetlands in southern California. From 2003 to 2007, he directed coastal and wetlands protection programs across California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, as well as bi-national environmental programs with Mexico.
Mr. Michel was born and raised in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Ginaia Kelly is the Executive Director of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Beginning October 22, 2019 Kelly will be responsible for managing the Foundation’s local work to support Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (the sanctuary).
Kelly has more than 16 years of experience with nonprofit organizations and has lived near the sanctuary for over 25 years. She spent much of that time advocating for conservation and protection of both the sanctuary, ocean and its shores.
“Our communities appreciate the importance of the sanctuary to the health of the ocean and local economies,” said Secretary Leon Panetta, Board co-Chair for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “Ginaia will support our efforts work with the sanctuary on whale rescue and bringing more attention, both locally and nationally, to this treasured place.”
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a local chapter of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation based in Monterey and Santa Cruz, CA. The chapter’s mission is to inspire the public to protect Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary through public outreach and reducing wildlife disturbance, specifically focusing on whale rescue efforts. Learn more about the chapter at montereybayfoundation.org.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is the chief non-profit partner for our National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation focuses on conserving areas of national significance in America’s ocean and Great Lakes by engaging citizens and communities in education, research, and on-the-water conservation work. Learn more about the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation at marinesanctuary.org.