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#LoveSharks Campaign Raises Funds
Ocean River Institute, Inc Ocean River Institute, Inc
Cambridge, MA
Monday, July 6, 2015



#LoveSharks Campaign Raises Funds for Saving Sharks

Shark Week campaign promotes crowdfunding for nonprofits

Cambridge, MA (JULY 6, 2015) – On Saturday, crowdfunding campaign #LoveSharks was launched to encourage shark enthusiasts and others following Shark Week to donate to online fundraising campaigns for nonprofit organizations working with sharks. Crowdfunding website LoveAnimals.org is hosting the campaign: http://www.loveanimals.org/lovesharks/

Four organizations have joined together to raise money for shark conservation to: organize a grassroots movement towards stronger shark bycatch rule enforcement, ignite an inland ocean protection movement, protect threatened thresher sharks, and to protest shark finning.

"Thousands of people participate in Shark Week every year," said Dr Rob Moir of Ocean River Institute. "The #LoveSharks campaign aims to inspire caring people to donate to groups like ours - impacting shark conservation like never before."

Launched in 2013, LoveAnimals.org helps non-profits raise money for animal projects by hosting free crowdfunding campaigns. Unlike many other crowdfunding websites, LoveAnimals.org is a non-profit organization and takes no administrative fees.

Social media is a key component of the campaign, and organizations are asking supporters to share with the hashtag #LoveSharks.  

Speak Out for Sharks! by the Ocean River Institute has raised the most money to date and is the closest (22% raised) to meeting its campaign goal.  This is the most community-based and placed-based of the four campaigns. 

In February, 40 to 50 lemon sharks were observed aggregating off the shores of Jupiter Florida. Over the next week all of those sharks were caught and killed by longliners. This "incidental take" happened when longliners were fishing for something else. Shark fishery regulations that may work adequately most times, failed to work in this place at this time. This incident, the lost of these sharks, along with NOAA permitting the taking of coastal pelagics earlier in the year, indicates we must do more to protect Florida's wonderfully diverse marine life, most especially sharks.

First grade students of the J.D. Parker Elementary School in Stuart, Florida, responded with a week of shark study. They drew many compelling pictures, and agreed on a campaign to 'Protect and Respect Sharks.' We need donations to build a coalition of 50 groups to call on Florida Fish and Wildlife and on the Fishery Council for responsible shark regulations. Every $10 will cover the costs of correspondence and meeting to add one more group to the Coalition. Our initial goal is a coalition of 50 local groups. However, should more funds be raised, more Florida groups will join in coalition to protect and respect Florida sharks. 

More than simply saving sharks, gifts are being made in honor of the first grade children, "for my Firsties," calling on all of us to do right for sharks.  

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, Commissioner and Former Mayor of Sewall's Point, FL, talked with ORI's Rob Moir on Moir's Environmental Dialogues Internet Talk Radio

I really enjoyed being part of your radio show on behalf of the first grade students at JE Parker Elementary in Stuart, Florida. These students are so excited to "protect and respect" sharks along the reefs of the St Lucie Inlet. They have created 100s of drawings and even did a multi class presentation on the subject. Thank you for allowing their voices to be heard as more children become River Kidz and have the mission to "speak out, get involved, and raise awareness, as we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers and oceans.

The #LoveSharks campaign can be found here: http://www.loveanimals.org/lovesharks

Media Contact: Rob Moir, (617) 661-6647,  rob@oceanriver.org

The Ocean River Institute provides opportunities to make a difference and go the distance for savvy stewardship of a greener and bluer planet Earth  www.oceanriver.org   

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Rob Moir
Title: Director
Group: Ocean River Institute
Dateline: Cambridge, MA United States
Direct Phone: 617-714-3563
Main Phone: 617 714-3563
Cell Phone: 978 621-6657
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