The incumbent of this position serves as the Park Manager for the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is the principal authority to carry out an overall management program for the national park. The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located within the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service.
Established in 1988, San Francisco Maritime’s legislative purpose is to “preserve and interpret the history and achievements of seafaring Americans and of the Nation’s maritime heritage, especially on the Pacific Coast.” At 50 acres in size, San Francisco Maritime is small in footprint, but large in park resources and facilities. The park is in a premiere location on the city’s northern waterfront Aquatic Park Historic district, within which is the Sala Burton Maritime Museum building, Aquatic Park Pier and Aquatic Park cove; the Hyde Street Pier, home to the park’s fleet of historic ships and visitor and operational facilities; and the historic California Fruit Cannery warehouse, adaptively reused as a boutique hotel, and the park visitor center. The park headquarters, maritime library, and museum collections center are nearby in an historic military warehouse (Building E) at Fort Mason Port of Embarkation, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Of the aforementioned park resources and facilities, Aquatic Park, Building E (as part of the Fort Mason Port of Embarkation), and the ships Alma, Balclutha, CA Thayer, Eureka, and Hercules are National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), our Nation’s highest, official recognition historical significance, thus San Francisco Maritime has the most NHLs of any park in the system. In the East Bay, the park has 86,000 sq. ft. of leased warehouse space to store materials and supplies for ships and facilities as well as large museum collections. Located next to San Francisco’s major tourist destination, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco Maritime attracts 4 million visitors a year and thus has the 12th largest park visitation in the National Park System. These visitors’ first and/or last impression of the park is-largely influenced by their use and enjoyment of the park assets and facilities.
The park’s location, resources and exceptional maritime collections interest a broad and diverse range of maritime advocates, researchers, volunteers, partner organizations, community groups, elected officials, and other local to national public agencies. In addition to its many constituents, the park has several significant partnerships-the San Francisco Maritime National Park Associations, the Western National Parks Association, the San Francisco/Aquatic Park Senior Center and two Sea Scout units of the Boy Scouts of America.
San Francisco Maritime is both a national park unit and an internationally recognized maritime museum. Prior to being a unit of the National Park System, San Francisco Maritime’s properties and extensive maritime collection were part of a city maritime museum in a city park and a state maritime park on a city waterfront pier. In addition to the properties and maritime collection, the NPS inherited the local identity, strong museum management philosophy, and international reputation of these founding organizations, which present both challenges and opportunities to the Superintendent today, including: establishing a strong national park identify, professional NPS reputation for maritime ships and NHL structures, cultural landscape and artifact, history, archeology preservation; sustaining traditional maritime understanding and skills and occupations by NPS staff and volunteers; providing technical assistance to others challenged with preserving of these resources; becoming more relevant to an ethnically and culturally diverse range of visitors as both a museum institution and a national park; and revitalizing visitor experiences within the park and creating new educational program which take the park experience beyond its boundaries, locally and globally.
The park’s annual operating budget is $7,407,000, $500,000 – $2 million in project funds, and non- appropriated revenue sources and donations of more than $1,700,000 annually. Additionally, the park has historically received $2-10+ million in appropriations for multi-million-dollar construction programs to protect its assets. Approximately eighty-five (85) Full Time Equivalents and a volunteer workforce of 100 persons accomplish the park’s mission.