For almost thirteen years now, WiLDCOAST has been making the world a better place by working to protect and conserve ecologically important coastal wildlands, lagoons, islands and marine ecosystems in California, Baja California and the Sea of Cortez. As the major non-profit environmental organization leading several major initiatives in two countries, WiLDCOAST has exhibited a passion for wildlife in their efforts to reduce pollution, conserve resources and limit harmful development plans.
“WiLDCOAST is helping to permanently conserve some of the world’s most beautiful and ecologically significant beaches, bays and islands, including the world’s most important grey whale lagoons and migratory bird habitats,” said Serge Dedina, WiLDCOAST founder and executive director. “More recently, we were the first responders to an oil spill in Southern Mexico organizing communities to help to clean up the spill, documenting the tragic death of wildlife as a result, working with the Mexican agencies to request a more comprehensive cleanup effort and to indemnify fishing and eco-tourism communities impacted by the spill.”
WiLDCOAST’s impact on ecosystem and wildlife preservation in Southern Calif. and Mexico has been made possible by their fundraising efforts, which have earned over $1.5 million since January 1, 2011. Over 6 million people have pitched in to help the organization and, in one of their larger initiatives, 4,200 volunteers removed more than 63,000 pounds of trash heading to the ocean, helping to preserve 3.25 acres of habitat. The organization also coordinated ten cleanup and restoration projects within the Otay River Valley by gathering almost 400 volunteers to collect 5,500 pounds of trash and help refurbish 83 acres of habitat. To date, WiLDCOAST has conserved over 2 million acres of coastal habitats.
With a few new campaigns in the works, WiLDCOAST continues to plan for the future of the environment. “One of our most exciting new programs is helping to develop a new system of Marine Protected Areas in Southern California so everyone can have a chance to explore and enjoy the underwater treasures just off of our coast and the amazing marine life that thrives there,” said Dedina.
In addition to a prospected system of marine protected areas in Southern Calif., the WiLDCOAST team hopes to work with indigenous communities in Southern Mexico to help preserve some of the world’s largest sea turtle nesting beaches and solve the American-Mexican border beach pollution issue.
WiLDCOAST was selected as a Regional Winner for the West in the Fourth Annual CLASSY Awards under the Environmental Protection category for its fundraising efforts and positive impact on some of California’s most important and beautiful ecosystems. The awards will be celebrated at philanthropy’s biggest night, the CLASSY Awards’ red carpet ceremony on Saturday, September 22, in San Diego, Calif.