James Crowley Ocean Conservation Fund

The James Crowley Ocean Conservation Fund is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Sanctuary ecosystems and the habitats and wildlife within, in memory of James (Jim) Crowley. Among many impressive endeavors, Jim was a dedicated supporter of National Marine Sanctuaries, a conscientious advocate for transformative ocean protection, and a dear friend to many across the wide ocean community. This Fund honors his commitment to ocean conservation through support for projects and initiatives that focus on restoring and safeguarding vital marine ecosystems within Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, encompassing some of the most biodiverse ocean ecosystems on Earth.

Jim’s affinity for the ocean began at a young age with a small skiff and a 4 HP motor in which he spent blissful summer days exploring the waters and species of New Jersey’s Great Egg Harbor Bay. His appreciation of natural marine habitats progressed over a long career, from sailing on Long Island Sound and racing and cruising international waters, to his Trusteeship of the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation.

Inspired by a profound respect for our oceans and concern about the implications of pressures on them by environmental and human forces, he advanced many public and private policies related to ocean conservation. With passion and optimism, Jim backed projects to restore and protect endangered wetlands, coral reefs, sea grasses, and kelp forests and by extension, the wildlife that depend on them. Exemplary of his commitment to National Marine Sanctuaries, he visited each and every one, and made frequent visits to several. Each visit strengthened his conviction that good science and community engagement are vital in addressing critical loss of local habitat and preserving the larger marine environment.

With a long and impressive career in management, and corporate and not-for-profit governance, Jim brought a realistic focus to the planning, management, scientific, and funding requirements essential for effective oceans restorations projects. In honor of these commitments and his ocean legacy, the James Crowley Ocean Conservation Fund has been established at Greater Farallones Association.

Your contribution will go toward:

Two harbor seals swimming in a kelp forest.

Kelp Forest: Vital kelp forests on California’s north coast have declined approximately 90% since 2014, impacted by climate-related stressors. Kelp forests are recognized as highly dynamic ecosystems that support a multitude of marine species, and like rain forests, play a role in the carbon cycle. This fund will support kelp habitat restoration at four key sites, identified as most ideal for restoration efforts.

Bolinas Lagoon with plants in the foreground and a bright blue, yellow and purple sky in the background.

Coastal Wetlands: Greater Farallones Association’s work to restore and enhance resilience for threatened wetlands, facing challenges like biodiversity loss, sea-level rise, and erosion. A current focus is a Ramsar Wetland of international importance, where GFA and sanctuary initiatives eradicate invasive species and restore degraded shoreline habitat.

Humpback whale breaching.

The Region’s Whales: Pacific coastal waters are crucial seasonal breeding grounds for migrating whale species, including endangered humpback, fins, and blue whales. Contributions to this fund will go towards the preservation of biologically rich ecosystems that these animals rely on for survival. It will also support efforts to reduce the dangers of ship strikes through strategic partnerships and targeted outreach.

A sandy beach stretches out along the coast. The Pacific Ocean is on the right and green cliffs can be seen in the distance ahead. A flock of shorebirds is at the waters edge on the sand.

Sandy Beach Habitats: Sea-level rise, coastal erosion, and other climate change impacts threaten sandy beach ecosystems. Countless creatures, from tiny crabs to massive elephant seals, rely on these habitats for survival. The fund will support science-informed actions to protect beach ecology, restore sediment flow, and mitigate further damage.

Thank you for considering a gift in memory of Jim Crowley to help carry on his ocean legacy. Together, we can make a lasting difference in protecting these vital marine ecosystems.

To discuss your support, please contact Executive Director Monika Krach at mkrach@farallones.org.

Photo credit: Harbor seals in kelp forest: Chad King, NOAA; Bolinas Lagoon: Matt McIntosh, ONMS; Humpback whale: Photo Credit Douglas Croft Images; Sandy beach: Beach Watch/GFNMS/NOAA