Photo courtesy Maritime Museum of San Diego

Maritime Museum of San Diego recently announced it received a $100,000 donation from the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation — an amount that will help the museum through troubling times.

The museum said in a press release that the foundation has a long history of supporting its efforts, including “contributing to the building of the galleon replica San Salvador, and recent historic landmark vessel restoration and preservation projects including the 1898 steam ferryboat Berkeley, and 1863 Star of India.”

Raymond Ashley, president/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, said the mandatory state closure implemented in mid-March “removed virtually every form of operational revenue the Museum once depended on, imparting to our entire institution an existential challenge.”

“Maritime Museum of San Diego depends on combined revenues from general admission for daily tours, award-winning living history educational programming, public events, membership, sailing and bay tour adventures, charter and private events, group self-guided and docent led tours. This crisis has been partially met through the generosity of donors,” Ashley said. ”
“Although we recently opened our doors July 1, the reported spiking COVID-19 infection rates forced us to close again July 7 for an indeterminate period, continuing the existential challenge unabated.”

The museum, which is known for the Star of India, offers a variety of oceanic learning curriculum to the public. The Museum also stages widely popular community festivals in partnership with Port of San Diego.

“For the first time in its 70+ years, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is navigating through a period of tremendous uncertainty, trying to maintain the sanctity of the Museum’s treasures, and ensure preparedness to welcome guests again when permitted to reopen in accordance with governmental guidance,” the press release said.

Ashley said donations such as those from the foundation will help the museum through the pandemic.

“We will be eternally grateful for these contributions as we set our sights on sustaining operations and work toward a return to welcome visitors, educators, students, and maritime history enthusiasts for years to come,” Ashley said.

For more information about the Maritime Museum of San Diego, go to sdmaritime.org/.

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