Honoring Women in Marine Mammal Conservation


In celebration of Women's History Month we want to highlight some of the women who are making history in our sanctuary through education, research, conservation and stewardship programs to ensure our sanctuary is protected and can support an abundance of life for future generations. At Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, more than half of our staff and a large portion of our volunteers are women. Some of them have been with us for over 20 years, conducting bi-weekly beach surveys, marine debris cleanups, and educating the public in our Visitor Center and outreach events. Others have spent hundreds of hours serving on our Sanctuary Advisory Council and the board of our non-pro t partner, Greater Farallones Association. Let's take a look at what inspired these women to dedicate their lives and time to protect our oceans.


Francesca Koe is the only woman to serve on both our Sanctuary Advisory Council and the board of the Greater Farallones Association. She is a dedicated champion for ocean conservation -- as manifested by her service as former GFA President (2010 - 2016) and her role in designing marine protected areas for our north-central region as a primary stakeholder in the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative. Francesca is a multi-agency diving instructor and has certi ed hundreds of students as divers. She is also a competitive free diver - her deepest dive on a rebreather is 250 feet; and using no equipment at all, she's descended to 150 ft. Francesca is a certi ed AIDA judge and editor- at-large for Deeperblue.com. She is inspired by the ocean, reminding others that “our northern California waters are the most wonderful place to see a spectrum of marine wildlife.” She maintains that this is still one of her favorite dive sites, despite all the places in the world she's been.