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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, June 8, 2013

Paul Petrich Earns National Volunteer Award

Joins fellow honorees Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Santa Barbara resident Paul Petrich, Jr. is the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) 2013 Volunteer of the Year for his exceptional contributions to the maritime heritage and outreach programs of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.


He will be recognized with fellow honorees Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Dr. Jane Lubchenco at NMSF’s 2013 Leadership Awards Dinner on June 4 in Washington.

Petrich has been volunteering with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary since 2006. He is a retired high school teacher with the Ventura County School System.

Petrich’s extensive photographic and historical documentation of his family’s personal experiences on the waters of the Channel Islands, including with the shipwreck Del Rio and the San Pedro fishing industry, have helped sanctuary staff to preserve the area’s history. As a member of the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps, Petrich is an ambassador for the sanctuary who encourages hundreds of visitors each year to visit and learn more about the Channel Islands.

The Channel Islands Naturalist Corps won the Department of the Interior’s “Take Pride in America” award for best volunteer program in the federal government in 2011. NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) volunteer programs received this award two years in a row. Nationally, volunteers contribute more than 100,000 hours annually to the National Marine Sanctuary System in the areas of research, monitoring, enforcement, education and outreach, and management advisory.

The awards dinner is held in conjunction with Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW®), Washington’s premier ocean-focused conference. CHOW 2013 will take place June 4-6 at the Newseum and bring together policymakers, industry leaders, academics, scientists, and conservationists to shape marine policy and provoke conversation about critical ocean and coastal issues.

CHOW 2013 and the Leadership Awards Dinner are made possible by the generous support of sponsors, especially the Pew Charitable Trusts.

About NMSF: The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation connects people to the underwater places that define the American ocean. National Marine Sanctuaries embody our nation’s commitment to preserve the best of the American ocean for future generations. They support economic vitality and thousands of businesses in coastal communities, preserve vibrant underwater and maritime treasures for our children and grandchildren to enjoy, and provide critical public access for ocean recreation, research, and education. NMSF works closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support and strengthen these underwater national treasures.

About CINMS: The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1980 and today encompasses

approximately 1,470 square miles of water surrounding Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara Islands off the coast of Southern California. It is one of 14 sites in the National Marine Sanctuary System and is charged with protecting a confluence of warm and cold water currents with a great abundance and variety of marine life.

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