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.