The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) invites the community to participate in its 2020 State of the Ship, which is open to the public and being conducted via a free Zoom webinar at noon Wednesday, July 8. Te webinar is free but but registration is required by visiting

The event offers an opportunity to learn more about SBMM, its interests, programs, exhibits and plans for the future; and to be able to ask questions and make suggestions through the webinar’s chat feature.

Don Barthelmess

Don Barthelmess

Bob Duncan

Bob Duncan

Since this is the 20th anniversary of the museum, which opened on July 29, 2000, this year’s program will include three speakers: past president Bob Duncan talking about the founding of the museum and its early years; executive director Greg Gorga recalling major accomplishments and issues faced in 2020; and current board president Don Barthelmess revealing what the museum has in store for 2021.

Greg Gorga

Greg Gorga

Duncan, who was the SBMM Board president from 2004-05 graduated from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in economics and history. He has been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) since 1987 and was the senior vice president at UBS and Merrill Lynch prior to starting wealth management firm Duncan-Newman Associates in Westlake Village.

In addition to his involvement with SBMM, Duncan has served on ther ocean-related nonprofit organizations, including Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and Santa Barbara Navy League.

Duncan is also the director of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation, a member of the ALL 8 club for Southern California islands, and a USCG licensed 100 ton master mariner, who has logged tens of thousands of nautical miles in and around Southern California islands for some 50 years.

Gorga, who has been at SBMM since 2007, graduated from Rutgers University, has had a long history in nonprofit management and is the recent past president of the Council of American Maritime Museums. He will be highlighting some of the most exciting things that have happened at SBMM during fiscal year 2020 and their impacts, including:

Hosting the 2019 SCAPE Art Show & Sale; holding a sustainable seafood teen chef competition; becoming certified as a Green Business; being named Non-Profit of the Year by the regional Chamber of Commerce; dedicating the museum’s collections facility the Kieding Collections Chandlery; applying for AAM accreditation; mounting several exhibits, and implementing a new Maritime on the Move (MOM) program to take hands-on maritime learning to schools and classrooms.

Barthelmess is a Santa Barbara City College marine diving technology professor emeritus, has been diving professionally for 40 years, trained commercial and recreational divers for some 30 years, and has mentored hundreds of divers who have made diving a career.

He was elected by the Academy of Underwater Arts & Science to receive the 2020 NOGI Award for his contributions to sports and education. Barthelmess has also been a friend to SBMM from its beginning and was instrumental in bringing both the Purisima diving lockout bell and the Dan Wilson diving helmet to the Maritime Museum.

At the State of the Ship Barthelmess will talk about what SBMM has planned for the future, where it wants to go and how it will get there. Some of the new efforts on tap for 2021 include final steps for AAM accreditation, an Arthur Beaumont exhibit, Surf Heritage, upgrades to the Periscope/Military, and Brooks exhibits, a Kids Cooking Competition, an online SCAPE art show and sale, the museum’s 20th birthday celebration on July 29, the new Girls in Ocean Science program, a founders dinner, Planned Giving/Endowment, and Navigators Circle events.

Since 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has featured artifacts and stories to share the history of the Santa Barbara Channel with more than 40,000 visitors annually and provides year-round experiential maritime history and marine science education for local youth.

Featuring the First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens from Point Conception, SBMM’s current exhibits explore the History of Oil in Santa Barbara Channel & Chumash Use of Asphaltum, the Honda Disaster, and Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light.

SBMM is located at the Santa Barbara Harbor, 113 Harbor Way, Ste. 190, Santa Barbara. Visit or call 805-962-8404 for details.