The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) and the internationally renowned dive equipment manufacturer Oceanic, jointly announced an exciting new outreach partnership at the Foundation’s annual Leadership Awards Dinner, June 7th. During the evening ceremony, honoring some of the nation’s top lawmakers and ocean advocates, NMSF Executive Director Lori Arguelles and Oceanic President Dan Emke unveiled the new hang tags, which will be attached to 100,00 units of Oceanic merchandise. The tags, produced by the Foundation, will promote the national marine sanctuaries and responsible diving.

"Since its inception, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has engaged corporate partners in innovative outreach and education partnerships to better educate the public about the value of our ocean planet," said Arguelles. "We’re delighted to have this opportunity to partner with Oceanic to educate the diving public about how each person can make a difference."

Oceanic is a California-based company and one of the largest dive equipment manufacturing corporations in the world. Its high performance instruments, regulators, buoyancy compensators, masks, fins, snorkels, thermal wear, and accessories are sold by more than 600 U.S. dive retailers, and worldwide through Oceanic affiliate companies in Australia, Singapore, Japan, England, Germany, and Italy.

"As an avid diver, I have had the pleasure of enjoying and visiting many of our national marine sanctuaries myself," said Bob Hollis, Chief Executive Officer of Oceanic. "We are proud to partner with the Foundation and committed to protecting our marine resources."

Beginning in June 2005, each piece of Oceanic dive equipment will be equipped with a hang tag that provides information about the national marine sanctuary system, opportunities to volunteer at sanctuary sites, ways to participate in fish counts and to support ocean conservation and awareness.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is the private, non-profit partner to the federally managed National Marine Sanctuary Program. It was created to inspire all people to preserve, protect and promote our nationwide network of marine sanctuaries. The 14 sites within the national marine sanctuary system protect oceans and great lakes from the Florida Keys to the Hawaiian Islands and from Lake Huron to the Gulf of Mexico.