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Funder Spotlight: July 2016

Ocean Connectors will be periodically featuring our funders and donors in our blog, to let the community know how much we appreciate their generous support! These incredible organizations are making a direct contribution to our mission to educate, inspire, and connect underserved youth with the ocean.

California Coastal Commission

Funding for this Ocean Connectors grant is made possible by sales of the WHALE TAIL License Plate and donations to the Protect Our Coast and Oceans Fund on the California state tax return. Proceeds from sales of WHALE TAIL License Plates benefit the California Coastal Commission’s Adopt-A-Beach Program, Coastal Cleanup Day, and other important coastal protection and restoration projects throughout the state. Learn more and order your whale tail plate here, and take a look at this map showing the hundreds of coastal projects throughout California that have received support from the WHALE TAIL® License Plate program since 1998.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

SDG&E’s Environmental Champions initiative supports nonprofit organizations that promote environmental education, community engagement, and stewardship to K-12 populations of underserved communities in San Diego County. The Environmental Champions initiative has contributed approximately $8 million in grants to a number of organizations in San Diego since 2009, including essential program support for Ocean Connectors for five years. With SDG&E’s contribution in 2016, we will be able to reach every child in grades 4-6 in all ten public elementary schools in National City. SDG&E has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council and has received multiple awards for advancing the use of clean energy technology.

Save Our Seas Foundation

To date, the Save Our Seas Foundation has funded over 200 projects in over 50 countries across the globe. Each project strives for deeper understanding and more innovative solutions in marine research, conservation and education. Ocean Connectors was awarded funding in 2016 to create a pilot thresher shark curriculum for middle school students in National City. This will allow Ocean Connectors to increase our impact by engaging students following elementary school, thus extending their learning experience from childhood into their teenage years. Threats to the thresher and other sharks include direct exploitation fo their fins and meat as well as bycatch in gillnets and longlines. The thresher has slow life history characteristics, making it even more vulnerable to overfishing.

The San Diego Foundation

Since 1975, The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $984 million to the nonprofit community. The Foundation’s Opening the Outdoors grant program was established in 2012 in response to key findings in Parks for Everyone, a 2010 report commissioned by The San Diego Foundation that found while 45% of San Diego County’s total land area is green space, many low-income, ethnically diverse communities have limited access to parks and open spaces. The Opening the Outdoors program serves to close this gap and ensure that San Diego youth grow up with equitable access to nature. This grant will allow Ocean Connectors to bring every fourth grade student in National City to the Living Coast Discovery Center in the fall of 2016, where they will observe sea turtles and explore the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.

Stay tuned for more funder spotlights! You can join our network of supporters by making a donation.

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