Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2023) – On Saturday, May 20th, National Park Trust partnered with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and NOAA Ocean Guardian Schools to engage students from Key Largo, FL for a day of fishing at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

After boarding a fishing charter boat, NOAA representatives taught 27 students and their families about the local marine sanctuary, the fish and wildlife that call it home, and people’s role in helping to protect this unique ecosystem. Participants learned how to fish, put their new skills into action, and went home with their own fishing gear so they can come back and fish again as a family.

“National marine sanctuaries like the Florida Keys connect people to the special places in our waters. We hope to build the next generation of stewards for our ocean by expanding opportunities for recreational activities such as fishing that create lifelong family memories. Responsible and sustainable recreation is a key to maintaining support for our protected waters including national marine sanctuaries.” 

Allison Alexander, vice president for program operations at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

“National Park Trust is honored to partner with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and national marine sanctuaries nationwide to engage youth and their families as we work to establish lifelong relationships between local communities and public parks, lands, and waters. Teaching families how to fish and then providing fishing equipment that they can take with them will allow participants to continue enjoying this recreational activity and create more family memories.”

Grace Lee, executive director of National Park Trust

“Sustainable recreational fishing is a cornerstone of NOAA Fisheries’ mission, and we are thrilled to support this partnership. National Park Trust, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries share our goal of getting more children and families outdoors. These fishing events ensure the next generation of anglers and ocean stewards are experiencing the joy of recreational fishing in our underwater marine parks.”

Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries

“Plantation Key School is very excited that NOAA and National Park Trust invited our students to participate in this amazing hands-on adventure which will provide the experience of learning about the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This day will help families appreciate the extension of our classroom education by learning and enjoying the beauty of nature, fishing and reflecting on our role in preserving the marine sanctuary in our very own backyard.”

Lisa Taylor, principal at Plantation Key School

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation awarded funds to the National Park Trust to provide elementary-aged students and their families with access to recreational fishing opportunities in national marine sanctuaries across the country. This event at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is the first of three fishing events at national marine sanctuaries nationwide taking place to celebrate National Fishing & Boating Week 2023. The two other event locations will be Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary in Maryland on June 3rd and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in California on June 10th.


Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023, National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired many of the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 52 national park sites. Our national youth education and family initiatives, including our Buddy Bison Programs and National Kids to Parks Day, serve hundreds of Title I schools annually and cultivate future park stewards. We believe that our public parks, lands, and waters should be cared for, enjoyed, and preserved by all for current and future generations. Find out more at

Media Contact: Ivan Levin at 540.818.5818 or


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve cultural and maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable, and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Find out more at

Media Contact: Chip Weiskotten at 518.669.3936 or