The U.S. National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has outlined the steps it is taking to protect its staff, partners and the public in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those steps include:

* “We are practicing safe physical distancing and following CDC recommendations. Last week, the Foundation asked all staff to begin working from home in order to be safe while continuing to drive forward on our mission to protect the US ocean and Great Lakes. We even had a virtual happy hour on St. Patricks’ Day to come together as a team!
* “We are canceling or postponing planned public gatherings, including Blue Beacon Series events and on-the-water training. We are grateful to all of our volunteers and staff who generously give their time to make these events happen, and we look forward to the all-clear to resume these activities.
* “With input from our sponsors and partners, we will evaluate plans for Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2020, the Ocean Awards Gala, and DC Ocean Week (all the week of June 8).”

NMSF also notes that the ocean contains a multitude of wonders yet to be discovered, including potentially life-saving cures:

“Research on marine life, including deep-sea corals and sponges, has led to a number of medical treatments, including a protein from an ocean seabed algae that was shown to be effective in slowing activity of a virus known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The potential of new vaccines and medical therapies underscores the importance of conserving and protecting biodiversity and these largely unexplored ecosystems.”

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