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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ocean River Institute Inc

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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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Jette D.


Rating: 5

I would like to thank ORI for all the work you do in helping to maintain the health of our coastal waters. My family has made trips to the coast a very special treat and because of ORIs tireless efforts at keeping the coasts clean and the rivers leading into the oceans healthy, we can enjoy all that nature has to offer. Seeing the Sea lion pups at Jenner or watching the whales in Monterey Bay, non of this would be enjoyable if the coasts and waterways were allowed to be polluted by chemicals and trash. I know it is a constant fight to keep the environment healthy and clean so I would like you to know we appreciate all of your hard work.