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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Protection of Endangered Species, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

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

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Ocean River Institute helps protect one of our national treasures--marine wildlife. The Institute also keeps its members tuned in to what is going on out there with our marine animals, and informs us as to what we can do to help sustain them. Please donate.

JamesShelton

Donor

Rating: 5

Based out of New England and dedicated to the connection between oceans and rivers, the Ocean River Institute was started to limit lawn fertilizer from causing harmful Algea blooms in New England. They then worked on this issue in Florida but I learned about them when they tackled the problems of managing fish populations that live at sea for years then spawn upstrem in Rivers. They gave me a forum to write letters on river herring in Richmond to the New England fisheries council which had been allowing over fishing of these same fish. They followed up with the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries council. These catch limets as well as catch limits whithin Virginia waters have been great steps in conservation of our James Rover Ecosystem. It would not be possible without this regional group.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Presently, I live in MA near Boston. I've been a monthly donor to ORI for 2 years now. I'm so impressed by their work and their passion for it. But what really makes me proud to support them is they are doing such amazing work for the Indian River in Florida! I lived in Brevard County for 23 years and raised my children there. The Indian River and the wildlife were always one of the things we loved so much about living there. We have moved away but we always visit. My daughter and her new little family were so excited last year to visit and one of the first things they did was take their little girl to see the manatees, but sadly, they are now hard to find because of the pollution and die-offs.
ORI is trying to save these beautiful, gentle creatures and I will forever be grateful for their work

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We seem to forget the value of all our waters....thank you so much ORI!!!!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
10

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with how the employees of ORI are committed to the environment! They really love what they do, & it shows!