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Review for The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education, Inc., Oakland, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen COARE convince individuals why the oceans are so important and why the way international policies towards ocean conservation are failing, and get them motivated to get involved. COARE's Executive Director has testified in front of the California state legislature in Sacramento on behalf of the plastic bag ban, as well as on behalf of the shark fin ban. COARE is a hands-on organization that is extremely effective at it's lobbying efforts, as well as it's public education.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything I would change at this time.

Role:  Volunteer & Tabling, blogging, social networking.