Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2023) – On Saturday, June 3rd, National Park Trust partnered with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA Fisheries, and NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries to engage military-connected families from the Washington DC metro area for a day of fishing and kayaking at Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary.

After arriving from around the region, families gathered by the shore of the Potomac River. NOAA representatives taught the 40 participants 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 then spent a few hours learning how to fish and putting their new skills into action, followed by a family-friendly 2-hour kayaking tour of the marine sanctuary to discover the “Ghost Fleet,” a collection of more than 100 World War I-era wooden steamships dismantled during the 1920s and 1930s. At the end of the event, families went home with their own fishing gear so they can come back and fish again as a family.

“National marine sanctuaries like Mallows Bay-Potomac River 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 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 military 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 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

“NOAA is grateful for the opportunity to work with the National Park Trust and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to do what we do best – connect people to their national marine sanctuary. The boundaries of the sanctuary might highlight the historic Ghost Fleet and incredible wildlife, but the most important resources are the people who left Mallows Bay Park on Saturday with a better understanding of their relationship with the water. There’s a space for everyone to appreciate the historical, cultural, and ecological majesty of Mallows Bay!”

Sammy Orlando, Superintendent of Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary

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 Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary is the second of three fishing events at national marine sanctuaries nationwide, taking place in celebration of National Fishing & Boating Week 2023. The two other event locations include Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in Florida back on May 20th 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


The Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 18 square miles containing a unique and rich legacy that spans American history, from Native American culture to Revolutionary and Civil War era activity to industrial-era steamboat transports and historic commercial fishing operations. Its most prominent feature is the “Ghost Fleet,” or the remains of over 100 wooden steamships built as part of America’s engagement in World War I that are often emergent above the waterline.  It is the first national marine sanctuary within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and is jointly administered by NOAA, the State of Maryland, and Charles County. Find out more at

Media Contact: Mark Losavio at 757.390.9120 or