Winter, with its short days, sleet-filled commutes and cacophony of coughs and sneezes, is an energy-sapping exercise in patience, but Oceana â€“ in addition to protecting sea turtles, sharks, corals and the like â€“ has just the right medicine to carry you into the Spring with health and vigorâ€¦triathlon training!
Just imagine: On April 1st, youâ€™re standing with your back to Ocean Drive, clenching soft Miami Beach sand between your toes, and waiting for the cue to plunge into the warm Atlantic to begin the Nautica South Beach Triathlon. Not bad, right?
Believe it or not, even with the race weekend seven weeks away, itâ€™s pretty easy for you to join the team, but youâ€™ll need to act quickly because Team Oceanaâ€™s ten race slots are filling up fast. Each race slot â€“ whether itâ€™s used for an individual or a relay team â€“ earns complimentary entry into the race, gear for the race and other VIP benefits, including a training guide from celebrity-personal trainer Joel Harper, courtesy of Nautica.
But whatâ€™s even better than these tangible benefits are the emotional rewards you get from competing in the race and raising funds ($1,000!) for Oceanaâ€™s conservation programs.
Itâ€™s a win-win, win, win, win, winâ€¦
So donâ€™t delay. Your chance to take advantage of this unique opportunity to physically challenge yourself and contribute to Oceanaâ€™s mission of protecting the worldâ€™s oceans ends with our signup deadline of February 21. Sign up today!
This is the ninth in a series of posts about this yearâ€™s Ocean Hero finalists.
Todayâ€™s featured junior ocean hero finalist is eight-year-old Wyatt Workman, who may be familiar to some of you since we have written about his activism and artwork before.
But in case you donâ€™t know Wyatt, he is quite a special young ocean lover. A talented artist, he has dedicated himself to getting the word out about the plastic pollution fouling our oceans. Through his artistic endeavors, including a book, clay figures, and a claymation movie, â€śSave the Sea from the Trash Monster!â€ť, Wyatt has raised nearly $4,000 for Oceana.
In late 2010, more than 300 people attended Wyattâ€™s art show, where he sold out of all 70 art pieces he made. He now has a waiting list for his art and he gets about 10-20 people a day signing his website pledge to make changes in their lives to keep trash - particularly plastic - out of the ocean.
He was also recently honored by the Pacific Aquarium in Long Beach, CA as their Young Hero of the Year, his book has been named "Book of the Month" by A&I Books in Los Angeles, and he has been featured in Time Magazine for Kids.
Whew! Impressive for an eight-year-old, huh?
Have you voted yet? Check out the other finalists, cast your vote and spread the word! And stay tuned for more spotlighted finalists in the coming days!
For the third year in a row, Oceana has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of charities in the U.S., which recently updated their charity ratings.
Our 4-star rating is due to our outstanding organizational efficiency ratings. In other words, we put your money to work.
According to Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger, "only 13% of the 5,500 charities we rate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Oceana consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America." He also stated that the designation "differentiates Oceana from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust".
This past weekend, Oceana joined Nautica at Lummus Park for the Nautica South Beach Triathlon. It was the third time we teamed up at the SoBe Tri to raise money for Oceana and raise awareness about ocean conservation...and it certainly seemed charmed.
First, there were the conditions â€“ and I don't mean the clear blue skies and 78 degree Atlantic Ocean water temperature â€“ I mean the six volunteers and nineteen athletes who gave of their time and effort to make the event successful for Oceana and for our oceans.
We could win $100,000 - but we need your votes.
Garnier is donating $100,000 to EarthShare, an organization that represents over 400 non-profits, including Oceana. Vote for clean water and you could help Oceana win $100,000 to share with two other great organizations, American Rivers and Surfrider.
Voting is easy and quick. Just go to the Garnier voting website and select "Clean Water". You will be asked for your email address and birthday. You must be at least 18 years old to vote.
That's it! Only takes about 15 seconds once a day to help protect our oceans.
If we win, hereâ€™s what we could accomplish with Garnier's donation:
- We will continue to fight offshore drilling and protect seals, dolphins and whales from the dangers of another spill.
- We will continue to work for better protections for sharks all over the world.
- We will continue working to ban destructive fishing practices, like bottom trawling, in millions of square miles of ocean, including the Mediterranean Sea and Belizeâ€™s coral reefs.
Plus, thereâ€™s something in it for you. After your vote, youâ€™ll get a $3 Garnier HerbaShine coupon or a $1 Garnier FructisÂ® coupon and a sweepstakes entry to win a yearâ€™s supply of free Garnier products.
So go on, vote for Clean Water once a day to support Oceana, and spread the word!
Okay, ocean lovers, itâ€™s time to put your creativity caps on. We could win $10,000, but we need your help. Hereâ€™s the challenge, from the CTK Foundationâ€™s Heart and Soul Grant Competition:
â€śWrite an original poem or stanza that reflects the work or mission of your non-profit.â€ť
The first place winner will receive $10,000 and will have their submission turned into a song to be used in public education or awareness.
Weâ€™re asking you to submit an original four-to-eight-line poem that reflects the work and/or mission of Oceana. If you are new to the organization, look around our website, especially at the About Us and Our Work sections. You can submit your creations in the comments section here, or via email, at email@example.com. We'll highlight the poem we pick here on the blog and Facebook.
Hereâ€™s a (really corny) example to get your creative juices flowing:
Our seas are sick, so hereâ€™s the deal
We work together to help them heal.
Oceana knows how to get things done
In our book, oceans are number one.
Around the world, weâ€™re making strides
Because believe it or not, we can turn the tides.
Inspired yet? Send us your best verses by next Monday, March 28th, and thank you as always for your support and enthusiasm!
Last year, the support of our members helped us win major victories all over the world. We helped score a ban on trawling in Belize's waters, blocked a coal burning power plant in Chile, and helped win the passage of the Shark Conservation Act in the US. But we still have work to do and we need your help!
Donate $35 by February 28 and you'll get our reusable water bottle, which helps cut down on single use plastic pollution. Donate $100 or more and you'll also get one year of our quarterly printed magazine, full of info about our work all over the world, interviews with our celebrity supporters, tips on sustainable seafood, and more!
2010 was a year full of successes for us, thanks to the support of all our members. Join us in 2011 and help make it an even bigger year for ocean conservation.
I often get questions from supporters who want their friends and family to donate to Oceana instead of traditional birthday, wedding, or anniversary presents. Not only is this an incredibly thoughtful way to give back to the oceans, but it is also incredibly easy!
You can set up an account and personalized fundraising page on Crowdrise in under five minutes. No joke! Here's how:
1. Create a profile on http://www.crowdrise.com. This literally takes less than 30 seconds.
2. Check out our page, http://www.crowdrise.com/oceana, and click â€śStart a Fundraising Project/Eventâ€ť.
3. Create your fundraiser! Is it for your birthday? An anniversary? You just want to help out the oceans? Be creative! You can create a customized link, so you can tell your friends to go to http://crowdrise.com/mybirthday to donate to Oceana. Set a goal to inspire folks to donate.
4. You can upload a pic of yourself (or skip this step).
5. And then make sure Oceana is the charity you pick for your fundraiser.
We are a third of the way through round three of American Express and TakePart's Members Project... and we are currently winning in our category! This has EVERYTHING to do with you, our fantastic supporters.
But we need your votes each and every week until the end of November. Voting is super easy:
2. Click on "register to vote" and fill out required information. You can also sign in through Facebook.
3. Click on Oceana and confirm your vote for your favorite ocean conservation group.
The world is 71% covered with water and for the largest international non-profit dedicated to ocean conservation (hint: it's us!), that's a lot of area to cover. $200,000 will help us immensely with our work protecting sharks and sea turtles, fighting offshore drilling, and campaigning for responsible fishing, all over the world.
Thanks again and vote now - and every week!
A few months ago we asked you to vote for us to win $200,000 in funding from American Express and TakePart. We didnâ€™t win the last round, but fret not, we are still in the running in round three, and we need your votes yet again!
You can cast your vote every week, and this roundâ€™s winners will be announced November 29th.