Coastal Connections, Inc

Educate. Connect. Protect.

aka CCinc   |   Vero Beach, FL   |  www.coastal-connections.org

Mission

Our mission is to protect coastal habitats for sea turtle survival by educating and connecting people to the environment.

Notes from the nonprofit

Our 2020 Annual Report is available, but too large of a document to upload. To request a copy of our 2020 Annual Report, please contact [email protected] or you may pull it from our website www.coastal-connections.org

Ruling year info

2018

Executive Director

Kendra Cope

Main address

130 10th Ct.

Vero Beach, FL 32962 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

35-2606320

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Recycling (C27)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Coastal Connections, Inc has a mission to protect coastal habitats for sea turtle survival by educating and connecting people to the environment. We provide engaging and immersive programs designed to foster a connection with wildlife. Sea turtles are a charismatic species that have captured the hearts of many, are extravagant because of their complex life history, and need to migrate and explore different types of coastal and oceanic habitats. By holistically protecting sea turtles, you are also protecting all of the coastal habitats they need to survive and helping other wildlife who use those habitats. Sea turtles have an extremely low survival rate estimated to be 1 in 1000. Although nesting numbers in Florida and the US are beginning to increase after being listed under the Endangered Species Act, sea turtle's biggest threats are human-induced causes including Artificial Lighting, Marine Debris, Fishing Entanglement, Fishing Bycatch, Habitat Loss and more.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Turtle Connections Initiative

Turtle Connections Initiative programs will aim to physically, emotionally, and virtually connect all people with sea turtles through experiences and education in hopes to build a desire that drives personal and social behavior changes to protect sea turtles.

Within this initiative programs like Turtle Digs, Turtle Walks, Turtle Rescue/Release, Community Outreach Events, and Research Partnerships will work to achieve the following goals:
1. Learn from and build new scientific contributions
2. Diversify program audiences and our impacts
3. Build a community-driven passion for conservation

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Children and youth

Turtle Travels Initiative programs focus on the eco traveler and their short-term experiences and choice of lodging during their trips. People can feel good knowing that when they stay at Certified hotels or engage as volunteers they are giving back to the communities, businesses, and organizations supporting sea turtle recovery.

Within this initiative programs like Sea Turtle Friendly Certified and Turtle Trips will work to meet the following goals:
1. Mitigate impacts from coastal development
2. Bring awareness to the connectivity of our actions
3. Develop eco-friendly travel opportunities

Population(s) Served
Adults

Vero Goes Zero Initiative programs are centered around community-based and grassroots sustainability. Programs involve individuals, businesses, religious groups, governments, and other organizations to pave a path for cleaner and healthier oceans, estuaries, and beaches for all who use them now and in the future.

Within this initiative programs like Beach Baskets, Coastal Cleanups, Plastic Alternatives, and WRAP Recycling work to meet the following goals:
1. Minimize single-use plastic availability
2. Increase the quantity and quality of recycling
3. Create cleaner and healthier beaches

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Turtle Connections Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2021, the opportunity to open more spaces for in-person programming allowed for more guests to enjoy and learn from CCinc's educational experiences. We still reached over 9,000 virtual attendees.

Number of animals rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Turtle Connections Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We manage a hatchling DropBox to rescue tired and sick hatchling turtles and work with the County to respond to juvenile and adult sick and injured sea turtles. Our team assists with 70+% of rescues.

Total pounds of debris collected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Vero Goes Zero Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Thanks to major partnerships with the County and other nonprofit groups in 2021, CCinc engaged hundreds of community members in coastal cleanup work, removing almost 7,000lbs of debris from parks.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Coastal Connections, Inc (CCinc) is located in Vero Beach, Florida and was incorporated in 2017 to provide opportunities for people to connect with coastal wildlife through educational and engaging programs. Studies have shown that people who interact with charismatic protected species, for example, nighttime Turtle Walks in Florida, are more likely to feel connected to wildlife and will react by changing their behaviors to more educated and conservation-minded habits. In addition, ecotourism programs like daytime Turtle Digs focused around protected species impel an increase in travel, attract more responsible visitors, and infuse more funds into the local economy surrounding wildlife than traditional tourism, thus, benefiting the entire community. CCinc strategically utilizes this knowledge and approach to benefit wildlife, people, and the local economy in all of our programs. This is what makes CCinc truly unique among Florida sea turtle conservation organizations.

Once a connection is made, messages about conservation and human-related impacts coastal wildlife are more easily received. We integrate information about how people can make a difference for sea turtles and our environment into every presentation or activity we lead. This way people leave with recommendations on how to minimize their impact to the environment through their daily routines. Examples may include using single-use plastic alternatives, reusing materials, recycling effectively, choosing sustainably harvest seafood, picking up debris from the beach when you leave, knocking down sandcastles and filling in holes for a more natural beach profile, and using red lights to reduce the intensity and brightness of developed area near nesting beaches.

To meet our mission of protecting coastal habitats, CCinc has three core initiatives: Turtle Connections - Which provides educational experiences to see a sea turtle, Vero Goes Zero - Which is our grassroots community-driven sustainability effort, and Turtle Travels - Which is our newest initiative designed to develop eco-minded travelers and reward Florida's hospitality industry for being leaders in conservation. Each initiative has a number of quantifiable goals to reach over 3 year periods and to accomplish these goals CCinc hosts numerous popular programs. Examples include Turtle Digs, Sea Turtle Rescue, Blue Beach Baskets, Coastal Cleanups, and more. We do our best to serve the Indian River County community including both residents and visitors of the area.

We have a dedicated founder who serves as our executive leader with experience in program development and management, fundraising and budgeting, we have a small family-like group of dedicated board members who each hold leadership roles in programs directly working with our community, and we have 80+ dedicated and passionate volunteers who will make sure we provide the best guest experience during our programs to ensure their connection with wildlife is secure and we are successful at meeting our strategic goals over the next 3 years. We believe our good reputation and the trail of positive impacts we leave behind in the Indian River community will overcome any growing pains we may experience. The organization also has big plans to continue developing and growing, expanding its staff experience and expertise to only enhance our reach and diversify our impact in the community.

Major accomplishments we have celebrated in our first three years include building a Christmas Float made out of 90% debris which was awarded the very first Environmental Awareness award in the Vero Holiday Parade, removing 500+ lbs of debris each year from coastal parks and beaches, we opened a small boutique store in partnership with local businesses, educated approximately 10,000 people during 2020 Turtle Digs and established relationship with the County and City of Vero to install and manage the new free Blue Beach Baskets at public beach parks to encourage our community to clean up the beach every time they visit.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve the general public and are determined to keep our educational and community involvement programs free. This dedication to eliminating a financial burden to participate is one way we are working to close the gap in demographic bias for education.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Coastal Connections, Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Coastal Connections, Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kendra Cope

Coastal Connections

Term: 2020 - 2022

Megan Lynch

Retired Former HR Executive for Hilton Vacations

Melissa Medlock

Nonprofit CPA expert and owner of Medlock CPA firm.\

Kim Sonderman

Executive Director of the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Network

Becky Freemal

Director of Marketing and Communications for Valley Star Credit Union

Jennifer McGee

Marine Debris Coordinator for Florida's statewide marine debris program

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/29/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/14/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.