Gearing up for the New Year

Monday, 30 December 2013

Contents:
- MPA Birthday
- SF Bag Ban Upheld
- NYC Bans EPS Foam
- Last Day for Year End Giving!

Hello fellow ocean lovers!

Today and tomorrow are the last days increase your charitable tax deductions for 2013, and we hope you will consider a donation to COARE as part of your tax plan.

We hope that the holidays have been treating you all well so far. At COARE, we ended the year on a wave of high notes, and we hope that you're looking forward to the new year as much as we are!

Just in time to ring in the holidays, we celebrated the first anniversary of the completion of California's network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Fourteen years ago, the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was adopted, requiring California to reevaluate and redesign its system of marine protected areas (MPAs).

COARE was quite involved in the design and development of those MPAs, and our Executive Director even sat on the stakeholder group for the north central coast study region.

With California's 1100 mile coastline from Oregon to Mexico, this is the first and largest statewide network of MPAs.

To learn more about California's Marine Life Protection act and its associated MPAs, you can visit:http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa

SF Bag Ban Upheld

Back in 2007, not long after COARE was founded, San Francisco became one of the very first cities in the United States to enact a ban on single-use plastic bags.

In February 2012, we celebrated the unanimous decision of the Board of Supervisors to strengthen and expand that ban, making it one of the strongest in the nation. Naturally, the plastic industry was not very pleased, and shortly thereafter, the "Save the Plastic Bag Coalition", a group backed primarily by plastic bag manufacturers, sued the city hoping derail the process. Among other things, they claimed that the new ban, which affects all retailers and food service establishments, was overreaching its boundaries.

The court upheld the strengthened ban, but the "coalition" filed an appeal. On 10 December 2013, however, the California Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's finding, and, thus, San Francisco's ban on single-use plastic bags.

This is an extremely exciting decision because it helps pave the way for similar legislation, and it further proves that we're headed in the right direction.

Currently, ninety (90) cities and counties in California alone have banned single-use plastic bags.

NY EPS Ban

Wow! We did it!

Many thanks to all of you who helped our efforts to ban food service expanded polystyrene (EPS) in New York City. (EPS is commonly referred to as "styrofoam"™.) An estimated 23,000 tons of foam are thrown away in New York City each year, but that will soon be a thing of the past.

As we reported last month, our Executive Director testified at the epic seven hour hearing in New York, and helped counter some of the industry testimony that was meant to mislead the council.

We are proud to report that on 19 December 2013, as a result of the amendments we helped craft, and as a result of your support and calls, we were able to pass the bill out of the Sanitation Committee, and subsequently the full City Council of New York. . . . and when we say full council, we mean that quite literally, as the proposal was adopted with an overwhelming 51-0 unanimous vote.

Comprising more than 8.3 million people, New York is the most populous city in the United States, and it is the largest city in the world to ban foam foodware.

You can view our official press release at: http://www.coare.org/news/nycfoam

Last Day for Year End Giving!

2013 has been another fantastic year for COARE! We could not have done what we do without YOU - our readers and our supporters. You provide us with the inspiration, encouragement, and resources that allow us to fulfill our mission and literally change the world.

As one of our supporters put it wisely, COARE is not just a leader in ocean conservation -- COARE helps create and inspire ocean leaders.

We are a volunteer-led and volunteer-run organization, and since its inception, not a single penny of your donations has been spent on staff or administration. Your dollar, euro, yen, or rupee could not go further towards making a real difference than it does here at COARE.

We run leanly, and with our many accomplishments, you can see that your contributions truly help shape the future.

Please consider COARE in your year-end giving plans, and help us bring your voice of change into ocean conservation: https://npo.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=20-8495026

Remember, all contributions to COARE are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law, and any donation you make by December 31st (whether online or by post) will count towards your 2013 tax year deductions.

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

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