Environmental non-profit organization working to educate residents



Local environmental nonprofits are working to educate residents on how they can get involved in hopes of making a difference. The following nonprofit organizations are fighting climate change at a time when tackling climate change is more important than ever. Monterey Bay is changing faster than it has in millions of years as the world’s oceans experience record warming and acidification.

Seymour Center

In October, the Seymour Center unveiled a redesigned space within the UCSC Coastal Science Campus building. A new exhibit explains the science behind our changing oceans, drawing on research from the Long Oceanographic Institution and his NOAA Fisheries Research Institute. The goal is to get people involved in community organizations that are making concrete efforts to help the environment.

The Seymour Center is an important educational site for the region. According to Deputy Director Lauren Donnelly Crocker, 8,000 children come to the school each year. Approximately 65,000 people visited last year. Through the Santa Cruz donation program, the center hopes to expand Spanish language signage to the aquarium’s new exhibits.

“It is very important to us that Seymour Center is an inclusive place for the community and that is what this campaign is about,” Donnelly Crocker said.

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Part of being inclusive is responding to the interests of your visitors. When “Otter 841” made international news for stealing surfboards, the center received many questions about the otter. They were happy to answer questions about their unique habits and unique habitat. But they don’t try to speculate about 841’s personality. It’s not a place we share,” Donnelly Crocker said.

Seymour Center has completed renovations to its space, but there’s always more work to be done. With funding from Santa Cruz Gives, the museum hopes to level the playing field by adding Spanish-language signage throughout the museum.

save our coasts

Founded 45 years ago and made famous by Dan Haifley’s efforts to establish the Monterey Bay Marine National Sanctuary, Save Our Shores employs five full-time staff members and works with hundreds of volunteers and students. I am. The organization is now led by Erica Donnelly Greenan, who praised the centre’s timeless ability to captivate audiences.

“[It] It’s a great resource to engage people with,” Donnelly Greenan said.

Save Our Shores always needs people beachcombing. Last year, more than 5,000 volunteers removed 45,000 pounds of trash. The trash from the past five years included 116,748 toxic cigarette butts. Based on that data, they are now advocating for a ban on cigarette filters in Santa Cruz County’s jurisdiction. The logic is that education leads to community action, which in turn leads to policy action. Donnelly Greenan said the group hoped to see progress on the filter ban in 2024.

This year, with the help of a pilot grant from the state, Save Our Shores offered children at Shoreline Middle School and North Monterey County Middle School the opportunity to visit natural places in the community.

The Junior Sanctuary Steward Program took 120 children to the beach, whale watching, Nisen Marks and Seymour Center for free. Donnelly Greenan said the program is about building meaningful relationships and equalizing access to our region’s beautiful natural environment, while inspiring the next generation of conservationists and scientists. It states that this is true.

Save Our Shores is currently seeking funding from Santa Cruz Gives to make this program an ongoing tradition.

“It’s incredible how many children who live within a mile of the coastline have never been to the coast,” Donnelly Greenan said.

Donnelly-Greenan said the lessons accompanying the field trip were designed by high school students because young people know young people best. But she believes it is no longer enough to rely on her sordid adage that “the next generation will save us.”

“We’re shifting the narrative away from putting the blame solely on individuals. It’s not just us making wise choices, it’s also governments and corporations who are responsible,” Donnelly Greenan said. . “We have to do the heavy lifting for these young people.”

Other environmental organizations:

Ama Mutsun Land Trust

Amah Mutsun Land Trust restores native plants and ecosystems through modern and indigenous practices on the traditional territories of the Amah Mutsun and Awaswas peoples. More than 200 Ama Mutsun tribal band members participate in activities at Kotoni Coast Dairies National Monument, Wilder Ranch State Park, UCSC, and the San Vicente Redwoods. Your donation will help Ama Mutsun land stewardship thrive and begin reparations for historic settler projects imposed on Central Coast First Nations.

Santa Cruz Ecology Action

Ecology Action is proud of our long history of caring for the environment since 1970. Our current focus is simple. Can emissions be reduced by identifying carbon sources as another part of daily life and following a concrete plan to eliminate them? Homes in particular have been targeted as easy places to reduce carbon emissions. I am. All Central Coast businesses, individuals and community groups are invited to participate and select a plan. As of December 1, 538 households have participated, resulting in 250 tons of carbon dioxide that would never be emitted.


Regeneracion is a grassroots climate movement committed to eliminating the racial and economic disparities exacerbated by climate change. Rising from the melting pot of Pajaro Valley wildfires, drought, and last year’s storms, this youth-led movement recognizes that the worst of the climate crisis is yet to come. It is only by organizing and building a movement that we can confront the dark storms on the horizon as a community.

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