Showers and Smiles

3 May 2014

Contents:
- SCUBA & H2O Adventure Show
- Earth Day Celebration
- Chicago bag ban
- Amazon Smile

Hello fellow ocean lovers!

We began this month up in Seattle for the newly rebranded SCUBA & H2O Adventure Show. This was our fifth year enjoying the Pacific Northwest's premier SCUBA show, and it was fun to experience the show in a new venue. It's always great to see old friends, and we love meeting new people and continuing to help them find meaningful ways to make a difference. Many thanks to our volunteer Sharon who generously supported our efforts and who also helped us staff the table at the show.

Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day is so renowned and widely celebrated that it's a great reminder for people to appreciate the planet and try to realize the impact each of us has on the world around us. We also like to use Earth Day to remind people that more than 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by our oceans.

On Saturday, 19 April, the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, California, held its annual Earth Day on the Bay event, and they invited us to join the festivities, and also asked our Executive Director to join a small panel discussion on conservation following their Beneath the Waves film festival.

The event was a huge success for us, in part because of the great venue and the fabulous weather that day, and in part due to the unveiling of a new interactive teaching prop designed by our newest director and educational expert, Jilian. COARE was able to talk to a seemingly never-ending parade of children and adults about our message and our projects, and we're very excited to welcome our new newsletter recipients!

Chicago bag ban

As we mentioned last month, we've been working with the City of Chicago to help develop the best possible legislation to reduce the incredible level of single-use bag waste there.

We also mentioned that this campaign faced a great deal of adversity, and that there was a surprising amount of support for an older and poorly written version of the ordinance.

You might see in other news feeds "exciting" news about Chicago banning plastic bags, but we're sad to report that the ordinance that was taken under consideration this past Wednesday (30 April) was the flawed one.

As a result of aggressive misrepresentation and manipulation by some of the members of the council, the measure was passed by a fair margin. While some will hail this as a victory, or as a step in the right direction, there is no legitimate reason that the council should have chosen to blaze forward with a faulty measure; rather, they could have taken time to consider all the information and facts, and they could have chose to benefit from the experience of municipalities around the country.

Sadly, the ordinance that passed will have little, if any, effect on consumer behavior, and worse, it may even be worse for the environment in a number of ways.

We will continue to offer our support and expertise to the Mayor and to the City, and we can only hope that they will revisit this issue before the ordinance is signed or before it goes into effect...and hopefully, also before the City is sued by industry groups.

Amazon Smile

Most of us have shopped at Amazon.com at some point or another. Now, our online shopping experiences can help support the charities we so love.

Amazon and the AmazonSmile Foundation have created a new charitable giving program, and COARE is excited to take part. Now, whenever you choose to shop at Amazon, COARE can receive 0.5% of your purchase price as a charitable donation from the AmazonSmile Foundation.

A mere half of one percent? That may not seem like much at first glance, but those little half cents can add up. Remember, COARE is a volunteer led and run organization, and we put every cent to good use, giving your contribution as much power as it can possibly have.

Signing up is easy! Simply visit the following webpage to indicate that you'd like to support COARE: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-8495026.

After that, your Amazon experience looks and feels the same as usual; now, however, your shopping helps give back. You'll notice a small banner at the top of the page that indicates your support.

Just remember to begin all your future Amazon shopping at http://smile.amazon.com/. If the Smile website "forgets" which organization you are supporting, you can specify COARE as the benefactor by revisting http://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-8495026 or by searching for us under "COARE" or our full name: "The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education".

Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends, family, and colleagues. If you received this newsletter second hand, we encourage you to subscribe directly by visiting our website.


Wishing you healthy oceans,

Your friends at COARE

P.S.: We encourage you to add info@coare.org to your addressbook to facilitate delivery of our newsletter to your inbox.