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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

ORI is an amazing institution, fighting for great causes and giving animals and the environment a voice! Thank you for all of the excellent work you do and the sacrifices you make!


Client Served

Rating: 4

Indian River is a beautiful place, worth preserving for ever. I was born/raised by the river and am so grateful for the work these folks are doing. I am 68 now, but I still see gray pelicans standing guard over the fish. Everything you can do will be a help our future. Do not assume the coastal river area is safe and will survive without fighting to make it so.


Client Served

Rating: 4

Beiing introduced to Rob Moir from ocean River Institute was nothing short of a miracle. Immediately ORI took the burden off the fund raisers in the British Virgin Islands in our ongoing Court case to protect Beef Island from development. ORI stepped in to get a petition from concerned individuals, they assisted in raising funding and liasing with funders so that donations could be tax deductible. They also raised awareness of the case internationally. ORI continues to be there to give support of environmental issues facing the British Virgins. They are exactly what small NOG's need when they dont have the capacity to write for grant funding or simply the time to write for grant funding.