The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Animals, Education, Environment

Location: 4123 Broadway Suite 808 Oakland CA 94611 USA

Mission: Nearly three quarters of the earth is covered by ocean, and changes to the marine environment have a direct effect on the planet, the environment, and ultimately, our lives. Yet mankind continues to dump, pollute, overfish, and in a variety of other ways, contribute to the demise of the ocean and the lives of its inhabitants. The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education seeks to enlighten people, young and old, to the plight of the oceans, to change the way they think and act, and to encourage them to create positive and lasting change.
Programs: COARE is constantly striving to find new and innovative ways to make a difference. The following are some of the projects in which we are involved: Enough With the Plastic Already!: An incredible amount of oceanbound waste could be reduced if people were simply more aware of how their habits affect the world around them. We seek to raise public awareness of some very commonly overlooked sources of trash, and want to encourage people everywhere to examine their choices and make a conscious effort to make a positive and lasting change. Educational Content: The future lies with our children. While everyone has the power to make a difference, COARE believes that children and young adults hold the greatest potential to enact the changes our world needs. By creating short segment educational films geared specifically for educators to bring into their curriculum, interest in and discussion about ocean life, creatures, concerns, and conservation can easily and effectively be sparked in the classroom. COARE Values for the Classroom: By arming children with necessary information, and by dispelling commonly held myths at an early age, we can empower future generations to make intelligent and effective decisions. Moreover, our target audience can then influence their friends and family to make similarly informed choices. This project will promote sustainable choices and reduce ocean-bound waste around the San Francisco Bay Area by developing and implementing a curriculum of conservation oriented presentations which can be made at a variety of elementary schools. Shark-Friendly Communities: Beginning with the city of San Francisco and neighboring towns and cities, COARE and WildAid are organizing a campaign to increase awareness of shark finning and the deleterious effects of shark fin soup consumption. The ultimate goal of this campaign is to encourage communities and city administrations to embrace a requirement that any shark fins used come from legal and sustainable fisheries. As part of this project, COARE is proud to offer Shark Safe℠ certification to businesses that distinguish themselves through their dedication to shark conservation. Marine Life Protection Act Initiative: Working in conjunction with groups like The Marine Mammal Center, Defenders of Wildlife, and Natural Resources Defense Council to fulfill the requirements of the Marine Life Protection Act signed into California law in 1999, COARE co-authored and supported a proposal for a new array of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) recently adopted for California's North Central Coast, and continues to provide recommendations for Marine Protected Areas throughout the state and around the world. Green Divers for Blue Oceans®   SCUBA divers and freedivers are more intimately aware of the oceans and the life within it. They are also more apt to notice the changes that have occurred, and that continue to occur, beneath the surface. As divers, we are ambassadors representing the underwater world, and it is our duty to share conservation messages with the non-diving world. The Green Divers for Blue Oceans® campaign encourages divers to become more engaged in conservation, and provides messaging to help them effectively reach others - from individuals to wide audiences. World Oceans Day Celebration: Several years ago, COARE teamed up with a few other Bay Area organizations to begin a tradition of annual events that celebrate ocean life.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a policy intern for COARE in 2014, and had the opportunity to see first-hand how Christopher and this great organization is helping foster a better relationship with our oceans. We worked together on California’s plastic bag ban, and I was amazed by the exceptional work ethic COARE’s of leaders. COARE does fantastic work getting its members involved, and I am overjoyed to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenal group. No doubt I will stay active with COARE into the far future!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first met Christopher Chin at the Peter Benchley awards over a year ago. He graciously & humbly spoke to me about COARE and their immense efforts toward Ocean Conservation. What is fantastic about COARE & Christopher is that they are deeply committed to each and every project they pursue from beginning to end; a good example was the Shark Fin soup consumption initiatives in California; COARE was there every step of the way. What I love most about COARE is their Education program; without awareness we can’t save our Planet. Christopher educates our future generations on different ways to preserve & care for our Ocean, on the use of plastics, and for those interested, on becoming future scientists & divers. I am very impressed by COARE & its founder.

Carolina Dratva
Social Media & Communications Volunteer
Mission Blue (Sylvia Earle Alliance)

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I first became a fan of COARE when I was doing research on sharks and shark conservation, etc. I was in Destin, Florida in 2005 when a girl was killed in a shark attack, in the very same spot my kids had been swimming 15 minutes prior to her attack. After that it seemed everyone was on a 'shark hunt' of sorts. Catching and killing sharks off of the pier or out on charters. Then when the Blacktips migrated in such large numbers a few years ago, I wanted to see what organizations were out there, and had settled upon the idea of creating my own. I knew starting my own organization was going to be quite an undertaking, especially since I am pretty far inland, and I don't think we've ever had a shark attack here in Ohio. But seeing people from all over, even friends of mine, posting pictures on facebook, etc. of the shark they caught on vacation, or poking at sea turtle eggs with sticks...it was just sad and infuriating. I was then diagnosed with Cancer in August 2011, had surgery and treatment in September 2011, and my advocacy group was put on the back burner. But I continued to follow Christopher's work, and a few select other groups that I felt had the same feelings and objectives that I do. I became a fan of COARE because of the goals and objectives, then became a fan of Christopher's and his work because it is evident that he has a passion for what he does and it's not just a job he does from 9-5. That makes all of the difference in the world. I whole-heartedly support not only what Christopher and COARE do but how they go about doing it.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The work being done by Christopher and the rest of the team at COARE is of paramount importance in ocean protection. The work that they are doing will not only change laws, it will change lives and ensure that the ocean is a sustainable resource for future generations. The steps they have taken to create and pass critical legislation will leave a lasting legacy and revolutionize the idea of cultural evolution as we transition more deeply into existing as a global society.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have worked with Christopher Chin and COARE over the past year around educating people about banning shark finning practices worldwide, plastic pollution and various ocean awareness projects.

COARE is an amazing company with an outstanding group of tireless advocates working towards the preservation of the oceans of this world. Christopher Chin is a multi-talented dedicated man I count myself lucky to know.


Elise DuFour
Assistant Content Editor for Google Earth, Ocean Layer
The Sylvia Earle Foundation
http://www.sylviaearlealliance.org/

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the programs, advocacy, and legislation I've been a part of and also in the people who have effected change in their lives because of the education received from COARE.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NOT change a thing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

During an impetuous visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Shark Days, I was introduced to Christopher Chin, the founder of the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education. We spoke for a while about our passions for the ocean, as well as our favorite marine species. From the get-go, I could tell that this man's passion for sharks far exceeds that of the common visitor to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He excited me more than I realized about Chondrichthyes, and next thing I knew, I was on the volunteer list.

When the opportunity arose to work alongside Christopher Chin at World Oceans Day, this summer, I seized it immediately. We spend hours speaking to the general public, communicating the our passions for the oceans as well as shark conservation to anyone who would listen, and were quite successful in gathering signatures of California residents who supported bill AB 376.

I am proud to have worked with Mr. Chin, and would work again with him in a heartbeat.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with COARE educated me about sharks more than I had expected. Dialogue with Christopher Chin not only informed me, it inspired me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would expand this organization, if only to reach and educate more of the general public.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Definitely volunteer tee-shirts.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Not only did my love for sharks grow tenfold, but it reignited my activist flames, which combined well with my recent passion for education. All in all, it inspired me to keep talking to people, and to keep the conversation alive.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt proud and accomplished after volunteering with COARE. I am inspired, and driven even more to protect our oceans.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was first introduced to COARE when I met founder Christopher Chin at a rally in San Francisco's Chinatown to raise awareness about the numerous problems with shark fin soup. That was about 2 years ago and I've been a regular volunteer since.
COARE has a way of interacting with the public and getting them interested in the problems currently facing our oceans. Everything from teaching children about sharks and the problems plastics are causing in our oceans, as we recently did during the Marine Science Institute's Earth Day celebration, to reaching out on an international level in getting a number of restaurants to stop serving shark fin soup with its SharkSafe certification program. This organization also lobbies frequently to get more laws in place that will protect the overall health of our oceans as Christopher recently did when he testified in front of the California state legislature on behalf of the plastic bag ban, as well as on behalf of the shark fin ban.
Overall I've been really impressed with the dedication and presence of this organization and all the people involved with it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This is a very interactive and hands-on organization and I've personally seen a lot of people change there minds in how they think about or oceans and their inhabitants. I've also seen a number of people go from just asking about what we do, to being ready to volunteer and take action after having just one conversation.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any changes at this time, just more of what they already do.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Christopher Chin has so much passion with conserving the ocean and it really shows when he speaks to others about it. He has made me open my eyes more to what humans have done and what we can do to help stop the destruction of the ocean. It is great to work with a nonprofit who shares the same compassion as I do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I feel very confident talking with people about the plight of the ocean. Not only with that but all the other items that COARE is involved with

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I just wish that it could have more of an appearance in the midwest...away from the ocean

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteer regularly with the Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education (by representing them at various events in the area, as well as by helping to manage their online and social networking presence).

I have been consistently impressed by COARE's presence -- they are invited to (and attend) a large number of events nationwide, and have made a difference not just in the United States, but internationally as well. For example, COARE's SharkSafe program, which certifies restaurants around the globe as serving food that is safe for sharks (the restaurants have to vow not to serve any shark products, as well as to obtain their seafood via sustainable practices) has restaurants participating in places as far away as Indonesia (and as close to home as San Francisco).

COARE's presence at events is essential to getting people involved and starting a discussion about why the oceans are so important. This brings me to another thing that COARE is astonishingly good at: motivating people to take action, and following up with them to in a way that's non-obtrusive or pushy. Their newsletters are informative and give a number of volunteer opportunities, and it's easy to be involved to whatever extent a supporter is comfortable with. I've seen a number of people approach COARE's Executive Director at events, questioning what the organization does and why they should care, and walk away ready to volunteer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen COARE convince individuals why the oceans are so important and why the way international policies towards ocean conservation are failing, and get them motivated to get involved. COARE's Executive Director has testified in front of the California state legislature in Sacramento on behalf of the plastic bag ban, as well as on behalf of the shark fin ban. COARE is a hands-on organization that is extremely effective at it's lobbying efforts, as well as it's public education.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything I would change at this time.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our K-12 school in Oakland, Head-Royce School, recently featured a week-long study and celebration of the ocean. When we asked Christopher Chin to be a guest speaker, we only knew of him as someone generous with his time and energy and someone committed to ocean conservation and shark protection. We had no idea he would be able to take a few hundred middle-school kids from a state of roaring, unbound energy to enraptured focus where you could hear a pin drop. He spoke for twenty minutes or so, weaving in personal stories about shark encounters, the bad rap sharks have in the media, unreasonable human fears, the plight of the ocean, the vital role of sharks, and incredible facts about these highly-evolved animals. The assembly ran overtime from questions, and the students gathered around him afterwards to hear more. It was an afternoon I won't forget. Thanks to Christopher for engaging these young minds (and mine!) and taking them into a world they may never have ventured without him as their guide.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Their outgoing, dedicated efforts to educate, inform, and inspire.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more resources and staff to further their great work.

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Review from Guidestar