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!
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 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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Review from Guidestar
My first encounter with COARE was the enthusiastic description detailed to me by the executive directer, Christopher Chin at the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society NYC weekend. Christopher lit up with joy when discussing COARE's Shark Safe initiatives in local restaurants, the importance of spreading ocean love to optimistic kids, and describing the potential COARE has for making change in marine conservation. It did not take him long to recruit me onto the COARE team so that I too could dedicate countless glorious hours spreading enthusiasm for marine conservation research and education across the country! I would love to see COARE's initiatives spread to cities spanning across the entire US. Its location in San Fransisco, while perfect for conducting local projects, provides a limited demographic that, in turn, limits the organization's potential for growth and ultimate success. That is why I hope to tell others along the East Coast as well as the Midwest Region about COARE. With enough determination, one can easily find all of the hidden marine enthusiasts and conservation activists that would drop everything to support an organization like COARE. That is what I intend to do! I will look in every nook and cranny of every un-obvious location to find people as passionate as Christopher to spread COARE's love for our oceans on to the next generation!