The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is seeking donations to fund further explorations in nautical education.

Santa Barbara’s newest museum, established seven years ago, has raised approximately $4.6 million for its creation and is now close to completion. However, the museum seeks to create three more exhibits that may cost up to $1 million to construct.

A “Safety at Sea” exhibit costing $40,000 of this sum would include information on boating safety and accident prevention. Another $57,000 is designated for a surfing exhibit, which will feature the history of surfing in and around the local coastal area. The museum also hopes to construct an oil resources exhibit, which will include model offshore platforms.

The Maritime Museum already offers several hands-on exhibits exploring local and regional maritime heritage and provides lectures, events, educational programs and sailing expeditions.

New donations will go toward the completion of several existing exhibits, which include a channel research exhibit, a dive tank and a model pilothouse. Donations will also provide funding to create a maritime research facility and library to serve the community.

Previous funding for the Maritime Museum has been provided by the Donald R. Baker Foundation, the Becton Family Foundation and local individual sponsors. The museum’s current funding campaign, “Race to the Finish,” was launched to raise the necessary $1 million by June 30.

“We have about 15 large donors who donate almost annually, and then we have hundreds of small donors,” Steven Hicks, Maritime Museum chairman of the board, said. “But we’re always looking for more.”

Located on the waterfront of the Santa Barbara Harbor, the museum is now open six days per week. According to Director of Volunteers Nancy Johnson, the Maritime Museum attracts nearly 27,000 guests per year.

“We have a maritime climate and a tremendous maritime history,” Johnson said. “We want to acquaint people with that history.”

Those who wish to inquire about the museum or make a donation can call 962-8404.