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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: The Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island, was founded in the summer of 1996 by a group of experts in marine mammal science, environmental sciences, education and conservation. CRESLI was formed for the purposes of conducting research, providing educational experiences and promoting conservation of coastal ecosystems. Research, education and volunteering are inextricably linked in all CRESLI activities. As such, CRESLI actively seeks cooperative alliances with researchers, educational institutions, and the participation of the general public.

Target demographics: To promote and foster understanding and stewardship of coastal ecosystems through research and education

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2000 people learn about seals and associated conservation issues by attending seal walks; 1850 people learn about whales, dolphins, sea turtles, endangered species, and coastal ecosystem issues during our whale watches; 70 volunteers learn about our marine mammal species, our research programs, and data collection, several hundred educators, students and interested parties

Geographic areas served: Long Island, NY

Programs: Local (6 hour), and off shore (multi-day) whale watching and research experiences, seal walks and seal site fidelity studies, public lectures, volunteer citizen science programs

Community Stories

37 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer for CRESLI is very rewarding. I love being out on the water and we have a great success rate of coming across dolphins or whales on each trip. The experience of being near marine mammals in their environment cannot be described in words, you have to be out there to understand. I especially love to see the excitement in the faces of the passengers and we always hear squeals from the children when they see dolphin. Seeing marine mammals in person will help people see how important it is that we take care of our oceans by not polluting and limit boat traffic in certain areas. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity and very important for the marine mammals.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rewarding opportunity and experience being able to work alongside passionate professionals, and fellow volunteers to educate the public. The science, and research are used to engage others why we need to preserve and protect marine mammals and all marine life that live in the waters surrounding Long Island. Our natural world is faced with many challenges. Ongoing outreach through programs such as seal walks and whale watching will insure that the individual will want to do their part to reach that goal.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Passenger or volunteer, one of the best ways to experience the thrill and beauty of observing marine life in and around Long Island is on board a Viking Cruise Sunday Whale Watching excursion.
Trips provide guests an entertaining atmosphere to listen and learn from experts in the field.
When we return passengers depart with a greater understanding and appreciation for our environment then when they arrived.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for CRESLI since 2010. It is such a great organization, with a great group of volunteers. You will not find a more informative whale watch or seal walk anywhere.

1 Sara C.13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the CRESLI whale watch trip! A great time and Artie, the naturalist, is super knowledgeable. Big shoutout to the volunteers and the Viking crew for making trips worthwhile. Seeing a whale in person is a lifetime memory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great tour....they do an excellent job explaining what may be seen, the volunteers were awesome at sighting and identifying what they spitted and everyone was very friendly and helpful. Definitely would do it again if the opportunity arises! A great team that cares about our oceans & environment!

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/06/2015

Thanks for your comments.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer was my second year volunteering with CRESLI. I have volunteered two summers doing the whale watches, and one winter doing seal walks. I've been on many whale watches in the past, and CRESLI is definitely number one on the list. Not only does CRESLI have a terrific success rate, but the biologist on board, Artie Kopelman, makes for an unforgettable ride. The trips are always informative and entertaining, and I highly recommend the three day offshore whale watching trip through the Great South Channel. Whether its a day trip, or the extended trip, you won't be disappointed! The seal walks in the winter months are also enjoyable, who doesn't love brisk walks in the morning to scope out some seals?! I highly recommend this organization if you're looking for a eco-friendly, educational activity, you won't regret it! Get out and enjoy nature with CRESLI!

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DrArtieK 10/06/2015

Thanks for your comments. and your work as a volunteer.

1 Scott125

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met Artie on a whale watch out of Breezy Point, NY. We chatted while we were taking pictures of whales just south of Manhattan on cruise where he was a naturalist. Artie told me about a big whale watching trip he organizes each year out to the Great South Channel, which is north and east of Nantucket. It sounded interesting, so I researched it a little more and decided to join the trip. That was two years ago, when we saw over 100 humpback whales exhibiting every kind of behavior that a whale enthusiast would ever want to see (full breaching, tail and fin slapping, bubble feeding, spy hopping, etc.) . I took the same trip this year in August 2015 (for the second year in a row), and somehow it topped last year's incredible sights. Artie's team is professional, yet laid back, and extremely personable. I consider myself beyond lucky to have met Artie (and the rest of his great crew), and will be going joining his trips for as long as he continues to put them on! Thanks, Artie!

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/06/2015

Thanks Scott. Glad to have you on board!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was working in New York and was missing my California home. Dr. Kopelman was kind enough to allow me to volunteer on the whale cruises and the Trip to the Great South Channel. For several years I enjoyed my summer Sundays cruising off the east coast in search of turtles, dolphins, whales, migrant birds, and brilliant blue sharks. During one of our trips we saw a not only a whale but a shark breach several times. It was amazing. Dr. Kopelman is a mentor to all with kindness, professionalism, and a heartfelt stewardship for ocean conservation education. Kudos to a wonderful non-profit life changing group!

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Thanks so much.

1 Sarah272

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dr.Artie K. offered me a very special volunteer position filming whales and seabirds for their research during some of the earliest offshore trips (great south channel and the canyons) back in 2003. This also aided me in collecting data for an undergraduate honors project, arranged by Dr.Paul Forestell of Long Island University.
These days spent on the water with Artie and the CRESLI team are amongst the most eye-opening, educational, and distinctive memories of my life. I witnessed my first mass feeding aggregations and first made eye contact with a humpback whale during the course of that summer. I've never once turned back - they became my life's passion and led to so many of the great blessings I have today.
I don't know that I have ever thanked Artie enough, so here it is. You fundementally changed my life for the better and the whale research community is a better group with you and CRESLI in it.

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Wow - thanks Sarah, what a nice thing to hear

1 Paul171

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dr Kopleman is a mine of information and a passionate conservationist. CRESLI's work on behalf of marine life is second to none.

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Thanks so much for your support

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CRESLI does wonderful work, not just as researchers and advocates, but as a community-minded organization, educating locals and visitors about our diverse coastal environment.

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Than you for your support

1 Patricia141

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cresli is an outstanding organization that provides education not only about marine mammals and birds, but also advocates for the protection of the marine environment. The cruises conducted by cresli are wonderful educational experiences.

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Thanks Pat

Diane96

Donor

Rating: 5

Great educational resource for those of us who care about the future of our oceans and marine life.

1 Andrew90

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Always a great time on the whale watching trips and seal walks, learn lots of great information and have a great time while learning.

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/05/2015

Thyanks Andrew

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Amazing educators and research initiatives in cetacean and pinniped population dynamics for the Long Island region. Fun, family oriented educational day trips

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/02/2015

Thank you for your support

1 Brianna14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CRESLI is a fantastic organization. With whale watches in the summer and seal walks in the winter, CRESLI constantly helps people connect to the environment that is in their backyard. Staff are fun, knowledgeable, and good at spotting stuff.

While summer whale tours are a bit of a drive for most Long Islanders (boat leaves from Montauk Harbor) success rates are high and you have the opportunity to see lots of critters - whales, dolphins, sharks (potentially including hammer head, blue, basking), sun fish, sea turtles (kemps ridley, leatherback), and tons of birds!


Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/02/2015

Thanks so much!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having never seen a whale, I was looking forward to this outing. It more than met my expectations. The viewing was spectacular, and the trip was well organized. Photo ops abounded, including pelagic birds, plus lots of information to digest. This organization is providing a valuable service in helping to protect and understand these magnicent creatures.
Don, Shelter Island, NY

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/02/2015

Thanks for your review and comment. It means a lot to us.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Cresli is a non profit that has educated me about the importance of marine mammals. This became much more apparent to me through experiencing these animals in their natural habitats. The ability to see these animals and how they live in our waters is eye opening. It shows that what we (humans) do effects everything around us and the quality of life of other species.

1 Ashley134

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Went on the 7.26.15 whale watching trip on the Viking Starship. We saw 16 fin whales, 2 minke whales, and 60 short beaked common dolphins. The CRESLI and Viking crew were amazing, informative, and helpful. Seeing these animals in their natural habitat was a dream come true. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and would love to take another trip with them if we are ever in Montauk again.

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 10/02/2015

Wow - thank you so much for your suupport and comments

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing educational programs that helped foster in my kids a love of nature.

1 PattyAlessi

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Personal Applause and Gratitude to Cresli
Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island Dr. Arthur Kopleman President.
-
During a morning Winter of 2013 there was an oil spill
The oil was surrounding a full haul out of Seals Cupsogue in Westhampton.
My calls to local agencies were missing the mark.
I frantically sent an email to Dr. Koplemen about the situation
He was 60 miles away at the time in a meeting, with almost immediate response back to me .
From there, he contacted correct agencies.
It was sad and scary to see the seals that day.
Some seals took a big hit.
More were spared because of the quick response of Dr. Kopleman.
In Gratitude,
Patty Alessi


Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 07/23/2015

Tyanks Patty for your kind comments and your work (and Mike's) as volunteers

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Note:
To the President of Cresli~
Thank-you for your many years of insight,foresight& invaluable information
imparted to students,public and volunteers
Cresii Pres. Arthur Kopelman, is not an on-looker -he is a right on it,and thank-you for that!!

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Patty

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my second season as a volunteer for CRESLI. Dr. Arthur Kopelman leads the organization, and the Whale Watch trips with exceptional expertise providing not only an incredible animal encounter experience, but an educational one. The trip is filled with information about all types of marine and avian life that can be encountered on the trip. The crew of the Viking Fleet, as well as the other CRESLI volunteers only enhance the already amazing experience. Get out there people... experience nature!

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 07/23/2015

Thanks Dennis for your comments and for your work as a volunteer.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding organization that conducts important research, while educating the general public about the magnificent marine life that we have the privilege to have around us.

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Dennis

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a crew trainee on the Unicorn tall ship during the last two summers. I got lots of learning, lots of new experiences and not much sleep. This year I discovered CRESLI. It is an experience anyone of any age and physical ability can do. I needed to slow down but my time on board was always interesting and relaxed with informative tutoring from the crew. I could not have believed I could see so many whales in a few days. I remain in awe of the experience and hope to return next summer.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first experience with CRESLI began in 2005 when I volunteered to work a whale watching excursion. We saw nearly 100 whales of various species, mostly humpbacks, feeding and breaching within splashing distance of our vessel. This up-close encounter with nature spawned a career change and two advanced degrees in direct line with the research and education of our coastal environment that CRESLI fosters.
Sincerely -
Sixto E. Portilla
Research and Technology Coordinator,
Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring
Molloy College

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I came all the way from Kentucky to meet a friend from NYC and the whale watching trip with CRESLI was fantastic. The crew was friendly, food good, and the ongoing LEARNING and TEACHING that Art and his team provided was unsurpassed. We saw 96 whales (they identified) and probably lots of others. The other participants on the ship were kind and shared their stories. I was suprised to hear how many years many of the crew (volunteers for CRESLI) had participated - a testiment to the adventures VALUE. I would go again and may bring family members from California and Texas.
Keep up the good work -
Greg in Kentucky - 502.644.8006

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you again.

Dawn98

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with CRESLI is an intensely rewarding experience, especially if you love marine wildlife. Dr. Kopelman, the president, is one of the foremost experts in the field and communicates his knowledge in an extensive and passionate manner. You will pick up various informational tidbits regarding all sorts of species. In addition, there is nothing more thrilling and spectacular than in viewing a humpbacked whale break surface in front of you! The people who volunteer at CRESLI are all wonderful AND you are doing your part to help educate / spread environmental awareness around the local community! What more could you want?

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you! We always look forward to working with you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Last summer my husband and I went out to the great south channel on the whale watching trip with CRESLI after learning about it from a woman in NYC we met standing in a line for an Audubon cruise of New York Harbor. She wrote the name CRESLI on a piece of paper and said, "Check it out. It's a great organization and you will see pelagic birds and have a great time. We decided to take that trip and we had the most amazing experience of our lives. The crew was great, the researchers were helpful and the people who went out with us were terrific. I had no idea what to expect but I hoped to see some whales and birds. The trip more than met our hopes but the real value for me was the experience of seeing these animals in their environment- feeding, swimming with their calves, breaching. I had heard the recordings of whale songs but to actually hear it out there in the sea made me wonder what they were saying to each other, to us. I felt humbled. An organization that can give people this kind of experience is an organization that deserves support. We can't say enough great thing about CRESLI and hope to join them on another trip inthe future. And by the way we also saw those pelagic birds.

Pat Radtke

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you again.

Annie42

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Outstanding grassroots organization that seamlessly knits public education about the marine world with scientific data collection. Great work and great folks.

Comments ( 2 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Annie

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Annie

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the past 5 years I have been going on CRESLI's whale watch trips. (2 day trips and 4 of their Great South Channel trips.) These trips, no matter what wildlife we see (or do not see) are amazing. Everyone involved in facilitating these trips, no matter what their role, is smart, hardworking and kind. I have seen astonishing things on these trips that I will remember for the rest of my life. I hope to continue going on these worthwhile trips for many years to come.

Comments ( 2 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks you. It's always been a pleasure.

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you! We look forward to seeing you again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is so much fun to work with CRESLI. Long Island has tons of wildlife in its coastal waters.... seals, whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles etc. Its a real treat to be able to get out into nature and engage with the public to help preserve and maintain our coastal systems! There is absolutely nothing like being out on the ocean and finding a whale!

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Bri! Look forward to seeing you soon

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteer and would like to say that working with CRESLI is a great experience. We learn and teach our local environment and the wildlife that lives in our waters. I truly enjoy our Great South Channel trips where we can experience the ocean from peaceful to storms.

Over the years I have made many friends and feel that this is a great experience for all young and old

Raul Plaza

Comments ( 1 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Raul, it's been a great pleasure to work with you since 1987, even before CRESLI was founded. You are ourone of our longest-lasting active volunteers, since our founding in 1996. Thank you my friend

Courtney43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with CRESLI has been an incredible experience, and opened my world up to new and exciting possibilities. The work CRESLI is doing is vital. Providing the public with fresh and fun opportunities to encounter something new, while learning a whole lot about our coastal environment, and the animals that inhabit it. Artie gives his all to the organization, and is extremely knowledgeable and passionate.

CRESLI strives to educate and engage. I volunteered specifically on CRESLI's whale watching trips which serve a double purpose: to educate the public while also providing a chance to view various species of whales that inhabit out local waters; and to conduct vital research that tracks various species of whales and helps us determine how the climate affects mateing and feeding patterns on a yearly basis.

In addition to this I worked with CRESLI to jump start an interdisciplinary arts program, that introduces youth to vital environmental issues that effect their community, while working through these concerns through collaborative art projects.

CRESLI has already had such a profound impact on Long Island, and I can't wait to see what they do as years progress. Thank you CRESLI!

Comments ( 2 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks so much.

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thanks Courtney

Veronica22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While looking for volunteer work, I came across a number of similar groups, CRESLI was the first to respond with a detailed email clearly indicating what would be expected of the volunteers.
I have been a volunteer for a few years now, and have met some great friends along the way. The work is fun and the experiences are priceless.

Comments ( 2 )

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you! It's been a pleasure working with you over these years. Let's keep at it.

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DrArtieK 11/03/2014

Thank you for volunteering for many yeras! We always look forward to working with you.