OCEAN RIVER INSTITUTE INC

Rating: 4.9 stars   30 reviews

Issues: Water

Location: 12 Eliot St Cambridge MA 02138 USA

Mission: The Ocean River Institute's mission is to foster greater personal involvement in conservation, environmental monitoring, and protecting ecosystems by facilitating the grassroots efforts of groups working at local and regional levels.
Results: In 2007, ORI engaged, educated and broadened a constituency in Massachusetts supportive of comprehensive ecosystem-based management of coastal ocean waters. This led to the passing of the Massachusetts Ocean Act in 2008. In 2008, ORI assisted the Virgin Island Environmental Council in a successful court battle to stop unregulated development of BVI’s last pristine salt ponds, mangrove shore, and Fisheries Protected Area. In 2009, ORI educated and mobilized 7,500 ecostewards to demand protections for Cook Inlet beluga whale habitat. In 2010, ORI assisted its partner Sunshine Wildlife in Stuart, FL, to reduce nitrogen runoff pollution following the death of more than 40 dolphins every summer in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon since 2001. In 2011, Martin County Commissioners acted unanimously to reduce nitrogen pollution in the Lagoon with a strong nitrogen lawn fertilizer ordinance. In 2012, ORI partnered with commercial fisherman and fishing advocated and successfully sued the National Marine Fisheries Service to include better, ecosystem-based protections for river herring and shad. In 2013, ORI assisted Falmouth MA in reducing nitrogen pollution when striped bass and a horseshoe crab were found dead from harmful algae bloom. In Florida, Indian River County revoked an earlier decision and passed a strong lawn fertilizer ordinance to reduce nitrogen pollution in the Indian River Lagoon. Rob testified before the Senate Committee to save fish and fishing communities.
Target demographics: 50,000 Ecostewards and EnviroGuardians in the US, UK, and BVIGeographic areas served: New England, Florida, Alaska, California and British Virgin Islands
Direct beneficiaries per year: 15 partnering local environmental groups
Geographic areas served: National/International
Programs: Save Fish and Fishing Communities, Ocean Ecosystem Education and Advocacy, Rebuilding River and Sea Herring Populations, Save Dolphins and Stop Nitrogen Pollution, Protect Rivers and Groundwater, Advance Ecosystem-based Regional Ocean Planning, and Recognize Blue Green Heroes
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-8273235
617-661-6647
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Community Reviews

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I wrote a letter to the Boston Globe after reading ORI's report about that paper's nod to the plan to pave a section of the Chelsea Creek rather than reclaim it as viable salt marsh. I live on a coastal marsh near New Haven, CT which is able to co-exist with our big port city commerce, but it takes community push-back and vigilance to keep the balance steady. Water resources tie us all together. ORI's outreach via email was what alerted me to the Boston issue and it's grassroots communication like this that can help marshall the voices to oppose powers that would always prefer to "pave paradise".

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

fast and personal response

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

I wouldn't.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

ORI continues to be the leader in attaining and maintaining water quakity in the world's oceans, rivers and estuaries. Their new campaign to help clean up the Indian River Lagoon will benefit the IRL's Bottle-nosed Dolphin as well as other marine species and the avian and terrestrial species that depend on the IRL for their survival. The nutrients and contaminants that are routinely dumped into the lagoon are contributing to the lagoons eutrophication and early demise of the lagoon and it's natural inhabitants. Programs of this nature, sadly, are needed to bring to light the lack of responsibility of manufacturers and the carelessnes of users of products that are injurious to the environment, and ORI is to be commended for their initiative in their actions to promote better water quality worldwide.

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

Improvement in the understanding of everyday actions that will promote long-lasting goals.

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

ask for Federal funding. ORI works all over the US to help our environment.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their initiative in taking action to promote a more healthful environment for both humanity and wildlife.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, knowledgeable and professional.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do about a quarter of the things it would like to accomplish.

Ways to make it better...

I could be more involved physically.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding and exposure to the envirnmental community . Some environmentalist I've talked to were not aware of the organization's existence.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Kudos to ORI and keep up the good work.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Thank you ORI for bringing attention to our ocean and water systems! They are badly neglected and we are destroying them at an alarming rate. More attention must be paid to our most precious resource after air: water.

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

I have been moved by the stories they tell about what is going on with our oceans politically and scientifically.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

RE: ORI “ You seem to need a lot of reassurance. You should know by now that you are all awesome!!! Thank you for caring so deeply about all these important health, safety and environmental issues!”

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

Making me aware of some of the World's important issues, especially in regard to the environment, and also keeping me informed of their success in achieving their goals.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Re: ORI “ You seem to need a lot of reassurance. You should know by now that you are all awesome!!! Thank you for caring so deeply about all these important health, safety and environmental issues!”

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

With the extent of pollution entering the waterways and the oceans of the world through plastics, oil and chemical spills, raw sewage, acid rain and heavy metals from fossil fuel use, the world needs groups that will take the initiative in, not only stopping the pollution, but also in cleaning up the mess that mankind is leaving for future generations. ORI's efforts in this direction have been, are and will be both inspirational and greatly appreciated. The world needs more groups with their dedication and leadership capability. Grant Campbell South Florida Audubon Society Director of Wildlife Policy Conservation Chair conservation@southfloridaaudubon.org 954-812-2613

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

Action alerts, newsletters and emails.

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

Initiate grant funding so their work could proceed on a wider scale - our problems are worldwide.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the dedication to their ideals and their spirit.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I have had only email contact with the organization, but their demeanor is cordial and their communication has been topical.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

go broke trying to clean up the waterways and oceans of the world.

Ways to make it better...

it could have been in person

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Mankind.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Do not give up. The challenges we face seem at times insurmountable, but collectively we are making a difference and given time, the results will be worthwhile.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

In a time when we are fighting for our environment, on both the land and the sea, it is good to know that our waters have advocates like you. We have to develope our own "special interest groups" to protect, renew, and help sustain our precious waters. They have sustained us for eons. You are a very special group of people, who stand up with integrity and take on those special interests who have proven themselves souless, and will destroy indescriminantly for profit while many of our leaders look the other way. Please do not allow anything to stop you from carrying on this work. We need you.

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

Reading of the battles and the victories of your organization, as well as the saga of the day to day, on-going work needed to sustain the momentum. It is inspiring, and an incentive to keep going with my on efforts.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Ocean River Institute is, by far, one of the most compassionate non-profits that truly focuses on making an impact by helping the environment. I sign petitions all the time with various nonprofits on issues that I care about. Once I sign the petitions, I get the usual "thank you" automated letter (which of course I don't mind and appreciate the letter). When I received Ocean River Institute's thank you, I replied to asking them to watch this video on an issue I care about. I was not expecting a reply. But, I couldn't believe a few hours later I got a response from a real person writing to me! They told me further steps I could take in order to truly make impact. I'm so impressed with Ocean's personable and caring response, that Ocean's is now on my top nonprofit lists! THANK YOU OCEAN RIVER INSTITUTE! :)

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

Personally, I have experienced the results of this organization. It simple to find out the results by going to their website: http://www.oceanriver.org/.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

ORI has successfully mounted campaigns to protect the rivers, marshes and bays in the locales that I care about. I work seasonally in both the US Virgin Islands and on Cape Cod, where water quality and its affect on the environment are constant concerns. In the 20-something years I've lived on St John I've seen environmental consciousness slowly rising as run-off and pollution accelerates. And in my 40 years of life on Cape Cod, I've seen the ecology learning-curve rise sharply, but perhaps too late. ORI addresses local issues, like mine, and brings my concerns, including the illegal dumping of ocean dredged materials and dumping of demolition debris, to a much larger audience. It helps me to stay at it when our local concerns are shared by people living far away. I am glad to know ORI is there and to be networked with so many other concerned citizens.

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

ORI always responds promptly to my communications.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

The Ocean River Institute listens locally and then assists local groups or addresses local environmental/wildlife challenge by networking through the internet. I learned that the British Virgin Islands, which I had visited many years ago, was being threatened by three of the world's largest developers. They were told by BVI government that they could disregard all environmental regulations to expedite building. I was heartened to learn that Islanders had rallied, created the Virgin Island Environmental Council (VIEC) and stood up to the largest developers in the world to protect the last remnants of wildness. The London-based barristers agreed to work probono, but needed their travel expenses paid. For not a whole lot of money I was able enable VIEC to have the legal defense they deserved, and stop developers from buying their way to ecological destruction. Winning in Court has established the VIEC as the environmental conscience that developers would be wise to consult to be sure that natural treasures are not destroyed. ORI let me be a big fish in a small pond and perhaps leave a lasting legacy. Thanks to weekly ORI eAlerts I can keep informed of new challenges and opportunities to make a difference, events and letter writing campaigns. Most often a small donation is all ORI needs, small donations made by many quickly.

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

helping to protect environments and save wildlife by seeing my own written remarks delivered with others to national decision-makers.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being part of vast network of environmentally concerned individuals and of grassroots groups working on issues in their neighborhoods.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Staff and volunteers really enjoy what they we do. The quality of individuals I met in the British Virgin Island, the relationship built are more fullfilling than are the incremental, never ending, environmental work.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

assist a great number of grassroots, place-based groups who are currently struggling to do much with little-a fund to overcome episodic setbacks and opportunities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Ocean River Institute Inc. is a small but powerful organization that I have come to respect a great deal. Their work extends to a variety of issues, dealing with every size waterway; literally, no watersource is too big or too small for their attention. Their work becomes even more important in the wake of a disaster like the current Gulf oil spill and its impact on the environment and wildlife affected. ORI works directly with communities and small groups, rather than being a huge, impersonal organizational machine, so a relationship between people and nature is always forged. This, in turn, fosters respect for the environment and a working partnership. That is essential to caring responsibly for the planet.

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

Several campaigns that I have written letter for.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Ocean River has done so many wonderful enviromental things to help out. Their work in protecting Cook Inlet beluga whale habitat was very effective!

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

the Russell, MA EPA hearings.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The kind and friendly way that they do what they do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

really help the wolrd

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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