After finishing up her graduate studies and moving to Vero Beach, FL, Kendra Cope noticed a need in the Indian River, Florida Community to provide interactive and educational programs that contribute to the protection of sea turtles and the habitats they need to survive. In 2017, Coastal Connections, Inc (CCinc) became a reality. Starting out small by only offering a few programs with only eight volunteers, CCinc quickly became a reputable and well-known environmental nonprofit that drives eco-tourism and now engages over 100 community volunteers a year.
Sea turtles are our favorite animal and the reasons go way beyond the fact they are cute. Three species, Loggerheads, Greens and Leatherbacks, are responsible for laying hundreds of thousands of nests along Florida’s beaches each year providing essential nutrients to the beaches we enjoy. They provide a home on their shells to thousands of small plants and animals. And, they keep marine ecosystems balanced by playing unique roles within the food chain that support the health of our oceans, estuaries and reefs. However, our choices as individuals and a society are having a detrimental impact on these critical animals due to light pollution, fisheries interactions, marine debris and more. But, the good news is we as individuals, groups and businesses are all able to make a difference to protect our environment through decisions we make every day. Coastal Connections, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida.