SOS: Saving Our Shores

You can help keep oceans and shorelines safe by supporting these outstanding organizations

Clamming

A father and son enjoy clamming along a national estuary in New Hampshire.

Lisa Nash

 Save Our Seas 
After Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai in 1992, citizens met to discuss ways to protect and preserve their island. Out of that first meeting, Save Our Seas was born. The organization aims to teach people the value of their environment through research and initiatives such as the "Ocean Pulse" program. Call 808/651-3542 or visit saveourseas.org.

 Surfrider Foundation 
In 2004, the Surfrider Foundation won a Coastal Living leadership award. With more than 50,000 members today, Surfrider has earned numerous accolades for its efforts to clean up the coast. Call the home office in San Clemente, California, at 949/492-8170, or visit surfrider.org for volunteer opportunities.

 BlueVoice 
Actor Ted Danson helped launch this Web site that promotes the protection of marine creatures including dolphins, whales, and sharks. Based in St. Augustine, Florida, BlueVoice produces films and Web videos designed to educate the public about ocean wildlife abuse. Visit bluevoice.org.

 Blue Frontier Campaign 
This organization's founder won the Coastal Living leadership award in 2005. Three years later, the organization is still going strong. Its goal is to provide tools for and promote messages of coastal conservation groups. Among its accomplishments, the campaign has hosted several Blue Vision Conferences, produced a Web site and media reports, and held "Celebration of the Seas" dinners to educate the public. To join the "seaweed rebellion," call 202/387-8030 or visit bluefront.org.

 Coastal Conservation Association 
The nonprofit CCA works at local, state, and national levels to combat overfishing and restore marine resources. Supported by recreational saltwater anglers, the group's legislative efforts span from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Visit joincca.org to find ways you can help.

 National Estuary Program 
This organization just celebrated 20 years of protecting our estuaries from coast to coast. In recent years, the NEP has reclaimed or sustained more than 1 million acres of critical coastal habitat, and raised more than $3 billion. Partnering with local organizations, the NEP renews wetlands, builds artificial reefs, and eliminates invasive vegetation surrounding nationally significant estuaries. Visit epa.gov/nep and click on "contact us" to find a local representative.

 Clean Beaches Council 
Launched in 1998, the Clean Beaches Council promotes coastal sustainability. Their Blue Wave Campaign, the nation's first environmental certification program for beaches, produces an annual list of clean and healthy shores. Visit cleanbeaches.org for the latest list.

 World Wildlife Fund 
The WWF has worked to end destructive fishing practices, stop illegal marine wildlife trade, and reduce pollution in coastal areas since the 1960s. It also helped start the Marine Stewardship Council, which recently began labeling supermarket seafood with a sticker signifying that products come from eco-friendly fisheries. Call 202/293-4800 or visit worldwildlife.org/oceans for more information.

 Algalita Marine Research Foundation 
In Long Beach, California, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation offers volunteers a truly hands-on research experience aboard the ORV Alguita, a ship used by the foundation for research and educational trips. Interested patrons can serve as crew, or volunteer to work in the foundation's lab at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. For a complete list of environmental initiatives, call 562/598-4889 or visit algalita.org.

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