Coastal Connections, Inc

Educate. Connect. Protect.

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

Mission

Our mission is to protect coastal habitats used by sea turtles 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

Founding 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 by educating and connecting people to the environment. We do this through engaging and immersive programs designed to foster a connection with wildlife, in particular, sea turtles. 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 T.R.A.C.K.E.R.S. Initiative

Teamwork. Rescue. Adoption. Conservation. Knowledge. Experience. Research. Stewardship.

This initiative is designed with sea turtle conservation and research in mind. CCinc develops and manages a number of programs to meet the goals of this initiative.

Current programs managed under this initiative include Turtle Walks (nighttime guided turtle watches), Turtle Digs (daytime public nest excavations), Rescue (hatchling, juvenile, and adult stranding response), School and Community Presentations, Nest Adoptions, and more. Each of these outreach programs uses education and direct interactions to further our impact on sea turtle conservation. We also partner with multiple academic facilities to further research on our beaches to increase the health and functionality of our coastal habitats.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

This Initiative incentivizes businesses and communities to adapt and operate under higher turtle friendly standards. This department sets basic standards which when met by participating businesses and communities, should contribute to an increase in sea turtle protection and reproductive success on local beaches. Participants are inspected throughout the sea turtle nesting season and are publically awarded for their excellency if all standards are met. Earning this seal of being Turtle Friendly can be used as a unique and powerful marketing tool to attract conservation-minded visitors to the area and promote sustainable business practices within the community.

Population(s) Served
Adults

This initiative is designed with sustainability and environmentally friendly technologies in mind. CCinc develops and manages a number of programs to meet the goals of this initiative.

Current programs managed under this initiative include Beach Baskets (baskets provides at beach parks for personal cleanups), Coastal Cleanups (family fun cleanup events all around coastal areas), Plastic Alternative Celebrations (working with restaurants to go Plastic Free!), Plastic WRAP Recycling (working with businesses to recycle plastic shrink wrap and packaging), Watter Bottle Filling Stations (We will work with the school districts and local authorities to install water bottle filling stations in public schools and parks).

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

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 T.R.A.C.K.E.R.S. Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Although 2020 was the year of the COVID pandemic, CCinc offered programs free for a limited in-person audience and expanded our programs to a virtual audience at no charge to reach 10,000+ people.

Number of animals rescued

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

Turtle T.R.A.C.K.E.R.S. 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

In 2020 we added to our quarterly cleanups but building a Wednesday Warrior Group. Beaches and coastal parks get weekly-daily attention and in 2020 removed over 1,300+ lbs of human debris.

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 T.R.A.C.K.E.R.S. which is our sea turtle conservation initiative, Vero Goes Zero which is our community sustainability initiative, and Sea Turtle Friendly Certified which is our incentivizing business certification initiative that synergistically combines both sea turtle conservation and sustainability to help create a more environmentally-friendly community in Indian River. 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 60+ 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?

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 6/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kendra Cope

Founding Director

Term: 2020 - 2022

Megan Lynch

Retired Former HR Executive for Hilton Vacations

Liliana Defago

Real Estate Agent for ONE Sotheby's Int. Real Estate

Kim Sonderman

Executive Director of the Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Network

Becky Freemal

Director of Marketing and Communications for Valley Star Credit Union

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 06/14/2021

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.